Google is considering an entrance into the internet TV game, according to a new report out today. The new over-the-top service would offer live TV broadcasts to customers over their internet connections, bypassing cable operators like Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The Wall Street Journal says the product has been demonstrated to programmers as Google has worked to strike content deals. It's said that TV channels would be available in bundles much like traditional cable packages (rather than à la carte), meaning that popular and less-watched networks would need to be purchased together. Notably, such an arrangement would go directly against the idea of Google TV, which sought to replace traditional cable services by streaming on demand offerings from multiple web sources. It's not clear how far along Google is with its latest plans, nor when it will ever launch such a service.
The internet TV space will soon have many competitors even if Google decides not to release this rumored product. Intel has confirmed that it's been working on an over-the-top internet TV service, and it's set to launch later this year. It's also rumored that Apple has been working on some sort of similar service. Signing deals with programmers to secure the rights to transmit content has been difficult in the past and will likely pose some trouble for Google as well. The company apparently held similar talks "about two years ago," according to The Wall Street Journal, but was unsuccessful in striking an agreement. If Google were to launch a web TV service, it would join an array of video products the company now has under its belt, including Google Fiber, YouTube original channels, Google TV, and Google Play Video.