Could Google Become Your Next Cable Provider?


We’ve known for quite awhile now that Google was experimenting with their own fiber network, delivering ultra fast internet speeds to lucky in Kansas City locals but we never considered the possibility that Google could also be toying with the idea of delivering cable TV service as well. I know, it sounds crazy… or does it? Make no mistake, Google’s bread and butter are ads. Always has been. And cable service is just one more way to get them into the living rooms of consumers.

Google’s possible new venture comes hot on the heels of their hiring of former cable TV executive Jeremy Stern who, according to the Wall Street Journal, is currently in talks with production companies like Walt Disney, Time Warner, and Discovery.

The only thing that can hold back Google now are the TV execs who weren’t all too enthusiastic about Google’s first venture into the living room, Google TV. What do you guys think? Would you be excited to have Google running the show on your smartphone, home internet and cable TV?

[Via GTVSource]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. I wish Google was my next cable provider, they probably wouldn’t rape me like my current cable company does.

    1. No, you would just have a constant ad banner on your TV, even if you were watching recorded programming.

      1. what makes you think that? ads would be commercials, kinda like they are right now for every cable provider.

        idk why in the world you think Google cable would put ads in TV shows haha. not everything google has ads…

        android, no constant adds
        chrome, no constant adds

        most if not all of what google offers to the public is free, non-invasive products that are on par if not superior to other offerings… i say give me some google services any day

        1. Yes, most of what Google does is out of the kindness of their hearts. They are a philanthropic company that doesn’t make money hand over fist from advertising every second of every day through their search engine, YouTube, Google+, and everything else that they do, including Android.

          You have got to be kidding me. I am a business owner, and I know exactly how much money Google charges me every month.

          1. Well, then switch to some other places for your business ass , oops I mean ads. Hope that your business would grow faster

          2. The more I check Phandroid, the more I realize this is where the 15 year olds get their Android news.

            I’m completely fine with how much money I send Google every month, since they get results. However, I do have a problem with naive people thinking that Google’s services are “free”, or that they created Android as a “free” smartphone OS option for the consumer. It was simply a way for them to extend their ad reach, which generates more money from businesses like mine.

          3. Your post makes no sense. Maybe you can clarify. I’ve never seen an ad while using the Android OS, the gmail app, docs app, Google voice app (which saves me $20 a month off my cell bill). Certainly, using there products cost you some privacy, but I’d be very interested to know what kind of “business” you run and what of Google’s products your using that is costing you all this money…

          4. He is likely referring to what google charges HIM to run his comapny’s ads through various channels. Of course google makes money. That’s the point of a business. TO make money. He did still fail miserably in making a solid argument as to why we would have banner ads 24/7 on google tv. I imagine it would be more like Hulu. On demand, all the time, but forced to watch 2 minutes of adds every 15 minutes or so.

          5. I don’t care about the core Google apps, as they make up such a small portion of the apps on everyone’s devices. I have 82 apps on my phone, 5 of which are Google. At least 70% of the apps on my phone display ads while I am using them.

            What kind of business I run is none of your business, but clearly Google is making A LOT money somewhere, and it’s certainly not from all of the tangible products they manufacture. Last time I checked, they weren’t a charitable organization.

          6. lmfao okay then tell me. how much does Google charge you every month? a billing statement would be great, because from where I’m standing, Google hasn’t charged me a cent. i get tiny adds in my gmail and a commercial here or there in youtube.

            again just show me how much google charges you and then explain how outrageous it is.

            i never said they give it for free out of the kindness of their hearts, because they don’t. but what they do do is have a much better way of making money, i would MUCH rather have my eyes glance at a tiny non-invasive add at the top of my gmail then pay $5 a month for it. same with everything else, they make things free to the user for the most part and when they use ads they do it properly where it doesn’t invade what i’m doing, infact 90% of the time i don’t even notice them

          7. How much I spend is certainly none of your business, but I will tell you that Google accounts for roughly 18% of my annual marketing budget, and marketing is by far the biggest line item on my budget.

            Thinking that Google’s products are “free” just shows me how stupid people are nowadays. Of course, all those “free” services must be behind Google’s $200,000,000,000 market cap.

            I never said a Google television service would have ads that were in your face, but I can guarantee you that they certainly wouldn’t be normal commercials, and there certainly would be viewer-optimized banner ads, similar to what networks do to promote their other shows during the shows you’re currently watching. Doing “normal” commercials would not solve the biggest complaint that advertisers, like my company, have with current TV ad options. DVR.

          8. What you did there is called a strawman. He never said that Google wasn’t in it for the money. He said that Google wouldn’t put constant banner ads on-screen. What reason do you have to believe they would actually do that? As a fellow businessman, I can prettymuch guarantee that they would not, as it would cost them customers in the end. Personalized ads, yes. Charging more to businesses in exchange for these personalized, in-the-livingroom ads? of course. Constant banners covering the show and distracting from it? Never. That’s a formula for decreased revenue.

          9. You honestly don’t think people would consider a YouTube-like mandatory commercial AND banner ad, if it meant a significantly lower bill when compared to their current television provider? If so, you clearly don’t know the typical consumer very well. Hell, just look at everyone’s comments. They automatically assume the service would be less expensive than their current options. That was their first thought. Not better programming choices or picture quality, but cheaper.

          10. I’m not seeing the connection. Just because the first assumption is that Google would be cheaper, that doesn’t mean that they expect or will accept banner ads. The very fact that we’re having this discussion proves that the idea of banner ads covering up part of the TV show is a concept that the consumers disagree with. It is possible for consumers to be willing to put up with it, but it would most certainly push a certain number of consumers away, especially with such tough competition constantly trying to take those customers.

            Claiming that I don’t understand consumer behavior is a bit presumptuous, don’t you think? I work in marketing, and I can guarantee you that if Google puts banner ads over TV shows with the competition the way it is, they will lose money. I can only imagine their marketers are telling them the same thing.

          11. I actually think it’s a bit presumptuous for you to assume that your opinions mimic the opinions of the majority of consumers.

            YouTube has gotten away with banner ads over video for as long as I can remember, and they will soon have original content. Secondly, the average television watcher is already faced with “banner ads” over television programming, but right now it is the networks advertising other programming. You don’t think the networks would give up that space to Google if it meant something like an AdSense program where the networks actually received a “cut” from advertisers right down to the local market? In a heartbeat. And they wouldn’t lose subscribers if the subscribers could justify the savings/service quality/programming choices well beyond what any competitor could offer.

          12. Ha! I never said that consumers would agree with my personal opinion. I am a marketer by trade. It’s my job to know how consumers operate. I find it hilarious that you are doing exactly what you tried to attack me for doing. Of course YouTube is not the same, and of course people will put up with banner ads IF the service makes it worth their while. The problem is, Google would lose money doing that. If they made the service cheap enough to catch the eyes of the general cable consumer and pull them in despite the obnoxious banner ads, then they would lose a massive amount of potential revenue from actual subscription fees. In order for Google to make TV banner ads an acceptable part of their service, they would have to give up more money than it brings in. If they choose to charge a reasonable price for the service, they can not use banner ads or they’ll lose too many potential customers to the competitors who  do not force banner ads. 

            And using Youtube as an example is ridiculous. Not only is youtube a completely different beast from cable TV, but you can click to close those ads. Here’s a general rule in marketing (one that Google is well aware of, btw): Adding pop-up or banner ads to a service that charges for use creates outrage. Commercials are slightly different for complicated reasons I don’t want to get into, but customers would and HAVE revolted over ads in a paid service (tv commercial breaks excepted).

  2. i would welcome it, however, i dont think it will ever make it out :( 

    it would integrate everything within my phone, and that would be definitely worth it :)

  3. Where do I sign up? 

    Lots of possibilites in this… Record live shows to your google account to watch at a later time from any chrome browser on a computer, any android phone (pls come out soon nexus!) , anywhere you log in using your google account really

  4. If its anything close to the selection of channels at what I imagine to be a fraction of the exorbitant cable rates, then yes I would be all in!

  5. Bundle plans? Android devices, Google Tv, and Google cable launching through Motorola giving you a treat of a deal oh yes please!!

  6. i would actually buy a tv and get cable service if this came to pass. i dont watch tv now cuz its too expensive. no one gives you the channels you want to watch without giving you a bunch of SHIT you dont want to watch. To even get some channels you have to add such and such package and end up with a big steaming pile of baboon crap in your mailbox  every month shaped like a bill.

  7. as long as its not apple.

  8. If they make it accessible (phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, tv) and affordable, this could be a swift game changer. I am definitely excited about this. Assuming of course that I’ll be able to watch any show any time.

  9. Honestly I could give a rats behind about the cable TV.  GIVE ME GOOGLE FIBER PLEASE!!!!

    Not that I wouldn’t welcome the Google Cable TV service, but I’d say I care 10% for the cable tv service, and 90% of me would just die to have that Google Fiber in my house! :-P

    1. Exactly. With decent internet, I don’t feel a need to get cable tv at all. However, I’ll take any chance I can get to get out from under Comcast.

  10. I dont think Google does enough….they should do even more. 
    Maybe this is why they start things and leave them in beta for 3 years like they did with Android. 
    Maybe halfway through providing cable they will move on to something else. 
    Most would say to concentrate on a few things and do them well. Google seems to want do the opposite.

    1. Only so many people can work as a team on a product before it gets to be more trouble than its worth. Microsoft does the same thing… they make Windows, Windows Mobile, Bing, Hotmail, all kinds of software (Microsoft Office, MSE, Visual Studio, the list goes on)

      So how is this any different? Google’s main business is ads. So they venture out in ways that let them advertise. Microsoft’s main business is Windows… so they have a bunch of projects based around Windows. It’s called diversifying. Google does take on many large projects, but the majority of them have been a success. Android, Google Chrome, Gmail/Apps, Search, etc.

  11. A la carte is the only way it flies with me. Otherwise I am just fine streaming online and downloading the occasional torrent.

  12. All television shows are going to be on-demand in the near future.  There will soon be no “regularly scheduled programming” and you will be able to order or select everything you watch.  Commercials are built in to the shows – just like they are on YouTube – and advertising companies will be able to accurately predict the amount of viewers that watch to pay the appropriate amount for their spot. 
    It makes sense that an tech giant like Google orchestrates it all.

  13. Give me Google Cable over Comcast any day.  At least Google could fine more innovative revenue streams than “charge the customer out the butt for cable”…which seems to be the favorite tactic of Comcast.

  14. Google could make a lot of money by having google TV cable boxes that serve ads based on your location and interests rather than generic ads for the entire market

  15. I don’t care if they gave me free cable with porn right now. I just want freakin the Nexus Galaxy, now.

  16. All hail Lord Google!

  17. Motorola makes most cable boxes today, i know they only bought Motorola mobile, but now they have ties directly to Motorola so they are actually pretty well set up to jump into the cable market. cable boxes equipped with GTV 2.0 would be fucking amazing

    1. I believe set top boxes are part of motorola mobility. I know I read that at the time of the deal, doesn’t make it fact though.

      1. We, Motorola Connected Home, are part of Motorola Mobility.

  18. Inevitable

  19. I’m in!

    Google could actually do really well with this. If they do an IPTV solution rather than traditional cable, I’m sure they could find a way to send targeted ads during breaks based on the subscriber’s history (maybe even customize it for each individual in a household using their accounts). With the acquisition of Motorola Mobility, they pretty much have Android DVRs in their hands already. They could have the DVR accessible over the web so that you could stream your recorded shows to your phone or tablet (pretty much what Slingbox does now, but built in to the DVR). Remote scheduling of recordings could be easy to do, too. They could possibly also work a deal with NetFlix, Hulu+, etc. and bundle those services into the Google services for customers that want them, cutting it down to one bill/one payment every month rather than multiple. Then again, they do have movie rentals for Android, so maybe they’d just try to compete with NetFlix and Hulu+ instead of working with them. Either way works for me.

    They need to do this, then buy up a cellular provider and bundle everything into one package. Fiber, landline phone via Google Voice (start selling Ooma devices or have Motorola make similar devices), TV, and cell service. They’d have most of America designating a part of their income to them every month if they pulled this off (even without the cell phone service).

  20. Depends on how much they charge and what they have to offer.
    If on par with my current cable company and for cheaper? Ofcourse
    if on par with my current cable company and more? Why?
    If not on par with my current provider and cheaper? I dunno
    If not on par and more costly? You nuts?

    1. ditto. If they get into TV, they need to shake things up. If they are just offering what is already out there, then I am not interested.

    2. Even if it was on par, but slightly cheaper, it may be better. I have imagined on demand all the time for years. Wish I had the millions to invest into something like this first! Thank about it. You don’t actually wait for something to air. You just stream the content once the company makes it available. You can watch it on any device, at any time, and you don’t have to schedule recordings, worry about DVRs in multiple rooms, etc.

  21. Supposedly, Google is running their fiber network into my work place here in KC. Should be very interesting to see if they do.

  22. We need more cable options.  Google would probably offer it cheaper because they would be able to charge more for the synergies between media platforms.   They should really just go buy comcast and be done with it. Its going to take years or similar piles of cash to break into cable.

  23. Google will rule the world!

  24. Hell to dah yeaaaaahhh…!!!

  25. @d0a3b6f60b08bad11d70712484d64722:disqus as long as its not apple..I am a die hard fan of charlie. But i am shocked to see what he did to the producers of two and a half men!! Check the video here: http://ho.io/p95s

  26. Man i wish one day I could work for Google!! they are just amazing!

  27. The TV network executives and Comcast will never let that happen – the TV execs are basically what killed Google TV, and they won’t hesitate to do it again

  28. If they dont do Bandwidth Cap Crap just like rotten Comcast, not only me but the whole US will switch to Google for Cable Internet as well as TV, Telephone….. Hope that Comcast would go bankrupt just like Chrysler did when Google plays its roll in ISP. 

  29. Google is slowly taking over the world… and that’s OK by me!

  30. I just hope that Google can jump on this quickly before any other companies have a chance to respond. Also, they need to find a way to avoid the anti-monopoly bombshell to make this happen. 

    I recommend finding a way to agree that it will only sell ads or something of that sort so that the government won’t strangle Google to mediocrity.

  31. Sign me up, I’m sick of the current TV providers. All of them. This industry needs a complete revamp and what better way to do that than add a new player that will shake it up. Fuck all the major networks and their grip on the consumer with its dated technology.

  32. let world domination begin 

  33. I would switch to Google IF they carried a version of NFL Sunday Ticket, I would be down for for Google Fiber as well

  34. As much as I love FiOS, I’d be lying if I told you I wouldn’t jump ship to Google TV the first day.

  35. I would totally love it. I’m a google fanboy as they would call it lol. Only thing is I can be unbias if I have to, and if google does tv the wrong way. Then count me out.

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