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Google looks to upstage Apple with new Google TV content teasers

Google on Monday looked to stir up excitement over its forthcoming Android-powered Google TV platform — and temper demand for Apple's rival offering — by previewing a portion of the content arsenal its building with the help of its media partners.

The announcements comes on the heels of Apple's rollout of the second-generation Apple TV last week, which has been met with lukewarm reviews, primarily due to its limited content offerings that stem from the reluctance of network television providers to embrace the company's new 99 cent rental model.

As with its Android smartphones, Google TV hardware will not be made by the search giant. Instead, hardware partners and HDTV makers will create devices that will run the company's flavor of Android for TVs.

Announcing its plans for the platform back in May, Google argued that today's television experience is too complicated for consumers, with too many channels and a poor interface for finding the shows they want to watch. As such, the company asserted that many consumers wind up watching videos on the Web, because it's much easier to find what they're looking for and watch it on their own schedule.

Therefore, Google's plan was to funnel most of that available web video content to TV watchers through a proprietary interface, which would meld its own search technology with a version of its Chrome Web browser, rather than strike individual content deals with providers like Apple does. Still, this approach seemed to spook content providers in the same way that Apple's 99 rental model has, generating some opposition from companies who felt the model would similarly threaten to cannibalize sales of their existing cable TV businesses.

With its announcements Monday, Google appears to have tweaked its game plan slightly to further appease concerned partners, and has begun working with them on Google TV-optimized websites that will allow those partners to "personalize, monetize and distribute their content in new ways," affording them more flexibility over revenue generation.

"Most […] partner sites already work with Google TV, but many are choosing to further enhance their premium web content for viewing on the television," the search giant said. "Today, we’re excited to announce several of these content partners:"
  • Turner Broadcasting has been hard at work optimizing some of their most popular websites for viewing on Google TV, including TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, available anytime through Google TV.
  • NBC Universal has collaborated with Google TV to bring CNBC Real-Time, an application that allows you to track your favorite stocks and access news feeds while enjoying the best financial news from CNBC directly on the TV screen.
  • HBO will bring access to hundreds of hours of programming to Google TV with HBO GO. Authenticated subscribers will soon be able to access all of their favorite HBO content on-demand in an enhanced website for Google TV.
  • NBA has built NBA Game Time, an application that lets you follow game scores in real-time and catch up on the latest highlights from your favorite team in HD.

Additionally, Google said it's partnered with some of the leading premium content providers to bring thousands of movie and TV titles, on-demand, directly to consumers television sets. Amazon Video On Demand, for example, will offer access to over 75,000 titles for rental or purchase, and Netflix will offer the ability to instantly watch unlimited movies and TV shows, anytime, streaming directly to the TV.



Additionally, Google also said its been working with some leading technology and media companies to optimize their content for Google TV, including news sites like The New York Times and USA Today; music sites like VEVO, Pandora and Napster; information networks like Twitter; and online networks like blip.tv.

The first devices powered by Google TV remain on track to ship this month from Sony (Internet TV and Blu-ray Player) and Logitech (companion box), and Google promises news on more Google TV-friendly websites in the coming weeks.