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German Broadcaster adopts lonely opposition to Google TV


Published: 7 December, 2012


German private broadcaster RTL seems to have changed its stance on Google TV since former CEO Gerhard Zeiler stood down in February 2011. Zeiler had been on record insisting RTL had nothing to fear from Google TV and indicated that the best approach was to virtually ignore it.

However, in a move away from this policy, RTL this week said, "We have a problem with third parties who try to monetize our content at our expense. That's why we will not make our content available on Google TV". Rival broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 has no intention of following this example, ans has dismissed it as a niche service with little potential to impact mainstream broadcast in Germany, and will continue to ignore Google TV.

RTL's want to make money from anyone doing OTT distribution of its content, but nobody is playing ball, leaving it stranded with no alternative but to block Google TV, even though the move contradicts its previous platform neutral stance and ambition to bring its content to as many eyeballs as possible.

The US has proven a more difficult challenge, with ABC, NBC and CBS acting in unison to block Google form the most popular content in the US. But the disinclination of European broadcasters to follow the US example has left RTL rather isolated in its decision to block its content, and because of this, do not have the ability to make any difference to the amount of competition among platform providers.

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