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Pay-TV’s Worst Nightmare is About to Come True

Watch out Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Time Warner (NYSE: TWC) and Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH). It looks like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) will soon be gunning for your customers as it takes it TV service to the next level.

If you haven’t heard of Google TV before, the technology basically allows you to browse the web, play games, and watch videos on Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), Hulu Plus and YouTube – all on your television.

The technology is currently available in connected devices like Sony’s (NYSE: SNE) internet TV and the Logitech (Nasdaq: LOGI) Revue.

And while Google TV has received lukewarm reviews since it launched, the search giant’s next leap into the space promises to make a much bigger splash…

Google Takes Cable and Satellite Head On

Last March, Google chose Kansas City, Kansas as the place where it would begin rolling out its new, super-fast broadband network. A network that has the ability to give residents 100 times faster internet speeds than most people in the country.

And while Google is just now in the process of putting the Google Fiber infrastructure in place, rumors have been circulating since the tail end of 2011 that the company might launch its own television service along with the rollout.

At the time, Google didn’t offer a clear response either way:

“We’re still exploring what product offerings will be available when we launch Google Fiber.”

Last week, though, Google made two moves, which virtually confirmed that it’s laying the groundwork for its own pay-TV offering.

According to PC Magazine:

“A Google subsidiary last week filed a video franchise license with the Missouri Public Service Commission that would allow the web behemoth to deliver content to television sets there… [And another] subsidiary, Google Fiber, also filed a similar application in Kansas.”

Not to mention, Google has also taken steps to establish satellite dishes at its Iowa datacenter, which has already been cleared “to pull down satellite transmissions,” according to the New York Post.

Sounds like pretty solid evidence to me. And I couldn’t be more amped about the possibilities.

The Way Pay-TV Should Be

Why am I so excited?

Simple. Google is giving consumers the ability to customize their experiences.

Just look at Android. There are hundreds of ways that users can alter their devices in order to personalize the experience.  Especially when you compare it to Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone, which doesn’t allow for much flexibility out of the box.

With that said, what’s to stop Google from allowing this same level of customizability with its own TV service?

Users could then – in theory – personalize the entire television viewing experience. And I’m not just talking about the user interface. What has me most excited is the potential for customers to personalize what channels they receive as well.

In other words, Google could offer a full a la carte television model, where you can pick and choose only the stations you want to watch, and – most importantly – pay for!

Hate sports? Don’t put a check mark next to ESPN. Can’t get enough of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “30 Rock”? Just pick up ABC and NBC. Then uncheck it when the shows aren’t running.

A plan like this would completely turn the pay-TV industry upside down.

Once consumers realize that they have the ability to purchase only the stations they want, you can say goodbye to the insanely priced bundles currently available from the current industry giants.

I know that such a service would certainly have me rethinking my ways. What about you? Let us know what you think of the recent events, and what it means for the pay-TV industry going forward. Leave a comment below or drop by our Facebook or Google Plus page.

Good investing,

Justin Fritz

Justin Fritz

, Executive Editor

View More By Justin Fritz