TV Everywhere is coming to Google TV


Get ready to look up your cable subscription credentials when Google (s GOOG) TV launches a new version later this year: Turner (s TWX) will be launching new apps for TBS and TNT that will offer access to full-length episodes of TBS and TNT shows, as long as users log in and prove that they are pay TV subscribers. But while this type of TV Everywhere pay wall could help ease the relations between TV networks and Google, it could also disappoint consumers.

The TBS and TNT apps for Google TV made a brief appearance on the Android Market last week, but have been taken down since. Screenshots of the apps show an option for users to sign in with their pay TV credentials, with Suddenlink highlighted as one of the participating pay TV operators.

A screenshot of the upcoming TNT app for Google TV clearly shows pay TV authentication as a way to access full episodes on the device. The app was briefly on the Android Market, but has since been removed.

The pay TV authentication featured in these apps seems to mirror what TBS and TNT are offering on the web as well as through their iPad (s AAPL) and iPhone apps. The networks both offer pay TV subscribers access to full episodes the day after they air on TV and the ability to play episodes from an extended catalog. A Turner spokesperson confirmed that the TNT and TBS apps for Google TV will offer authentication for pay TV customers, but didn’t provide any details about when these apps will be officially made available. A Google spokesperson sent us the following statement via email:

“While we won’t comment on the specifics of a product that hasn’t launched, we do believe that authentication can bring more content to users and the HBOGo app demonstrates this. We hope and expect that the authentication option will continue to be popular on the Google TV platform for both Web and Android apps.”

Google TV wasn’t exactly embraced by TV networks when it launched about a year ago. Virtually all broadcasters and most cable channels blocked Google TV users from accessing catch-up episodes online for fear that Google TV owners would drop their cable subscriptions. One of the lone exceptions was Turner, whose web apps for Google TV have featured short clips from its programming on the platform. Google TV has also offered HBO content to viewers that could authenticate themselves as subscribers of the premium cable network through a dedicated HBO Go app.

Google is expected to launch the next version of Google TV within the coming weeks. The second iteration of the platform will be based on Android 3.1 (a.k.a. Honeycomb) and have access to the Android Market. Dedicated apps as well as authentication features could possibly convince other TV networks to embrace the platform as well, but it’s unclear how this would be received by consumers.

Google executives have been struggling with the perception that Google TV is meant to replace traditional pay TV services. Tying the platform closer to pay TV subscriptions could help to mend relations with networks, but it might also go counter to what some consumers have been expecting when buying these devices.

Consumer interest in Google TV has been weak until recently, which forced Logitech (s LOGI) to slash the price of its revue set-top box from $250 to $99 in July. Interest seems to have picked up since, and the Revue even made a brief appearance in Amazon’s list of the ten best-selling gadgets last month.



Are we really going to be able to do this one android with verizon has not updated the os and when I called direct Tv I was informed the only way I could do this was to buy a more expensive. Package that included hbo and others like that plus a dvrr

Nitin Narang

Great move and good for consumers.. But is TV everywhere the drive by Studios and networks to diminish the power of Online TV and OTT players or a strategy to win customers beyond its subscription base. Comcast also announced availability on Xbox and other potential platforms – Is Google TV included?

James Ferguson

Allow Google TV customers to subscribe from HBO, ESPN, etc without going through the cable companies. My satellite provider doesn’t carry these & other channels.

Robb D.

This is inevitable Internet is the future of all communications until a new technology emerges. Billing and security issues still have to be addressed ,but people have to use some common sense to protect them selves at all times. Look at the situation with Sony’s Playstation’s network.


There needs to be a method to authenticate that does not involve the cable provider. In markets where there are limited providers, there is no incentive to offer up subscriber authentication until enough subscribers pester the cable provider endlessly.


I got a Google TV Yesterday (32″ Sony with GTV built-in) and I have to say even without the Honeycomb update, the GTV experience is really great. My old setup was a mac mini running a running jumble of TV apps (starting with Joost and ending with Boxee, etc) alongside the cable box. The new setup is clean, simple, elegant and a pleasure to use and I’ve kissed all those other apps goodbye. Video content from the web finally feels integrated with the rest of my TV experience – and I do anticipate watching a lot more web video than cableTV with this setup..


So if Google (or another entity) makes a better new deal with the content providers, then Comcast and TWC really have something to worry about. The elephant in the room is really a la carte.

Black Cat SEO

Time to cut out the cable companies. They remind me of the music industries in the early 2000’s. Still holding on to something that will be impossible to keep and something that isn’t theirs. The networks need to take heed.

avid tv watcher

Great, BUT TNT recently locked their videos unless you logged in with your cable info. I only have the barest cable, local and a few odds and ends. Because I don’t have access to xfinity (comcast) it denied access to me. Google will probably do the same thing. Definitely doesn’t seem fair. For the few shows I liked on TNT, I can wait for used dvd’s to show up. They’ll lose viewers like me who don’t appreciate being ripped off by cable companies and enjoy watching online instead. I’ll just find something new to watch on hulu, netflix, or amazon.

Danny Robinson

Interesting that there was no mention of the Motorola acquisition. Google bought the entire Motorola set top box business.

Michael Pate

I ordered a Revue last night. I have a tv in my bedroom now and no cable access so I decided it was the perfect solution.

tech support

Well this is a good news for tv lovers, Google always comes with the most unique features and applications, I Think its time that Google will rule entertainment also…

Dain Binder

Good news! Especially, considering I just bought Logitech Revue a couple days ago. :)I don’t know what made me do it, but the price was good and I wanted to get one at launch and never did. It should be cool with more cool coming later.

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