In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
Google is providing a new interface for viewing TV programs, movies and web sites.
Google Inc. this week said it boosting its Google TV service by building relationships with content providers ranging from Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc. to Home Box Office and the National Basketball Association. The search engine company, which launched Google TV in May, wants to expand on its promise of letting consumers watch TV and browse the web simultaneously on a home entertainment screen.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by interest in partners on how they can use the Google TV platform to personalize, monetize and distribute their content,” Ambarish Kenghe, developer product manager for Google TV, said in a blog posting on Tuesday.
Google TV requires viewers to either use a new Google TV-compatible TV set that will be available this fall from Sony Corp. and other manufacturers, or use a conventional TV connected to a data transfer box from Logitech. Once Google TV is activated on a TV, viewers can create a web-like home page on their TV screen to show icons for quick access to particular TV channels, web sites and applications designed for viewing special content.
Google says viewers will be able to control the Google TV interface with mobile apps available for Android and iPhone mobile phones or with a remote control device that comes with their Google TV-compatible TV set or their Logitech box. Either way, they’ll be able to search on their TV screen to produce results among available TV shows, web sites and applications, Google says.
By providing both TV and web content on a single screen, Google expects to “enable new innovation from content creators, programmers and advertisers,” Kenghe says.
Google announced this week several early partners that will be providing content through Google TV. They include Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc., both of which will be providing access to movies and TV shows through the Google system.
Amazon is providing access through Google TV to more than 75,000 titles of TV programs and movies for rent or purchase, a spokeswoman says. Netflix, the video rental company, will support the streaming of video content through Google TV-compatible TVs later this month, says Rich Ezekiel, director of partnerships for Netflix. Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. Netflix is No. 14.
Other content providers working with Google TV include:
● HBO is offering HBO GO, which will offer its subscribers all its movie content in a web site enhanced for Google TV;
● The NBA has developed NBA Game Time, a application designed for Google TV that lets viewers follow game scores in real time and watch game highlights ;
● NBC Universal has collaborated with Google TV to develop CNBC Real-Time, an application that lets viewers track stocks and access news feeds while watching CNBC TV business news programs;
● Turner Broadcasting Co. has optimized for Google TV several web sites, including TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.