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Google sets video store plans

Mon, 01/09/2006 - 7:46am
Jeff Baumgartner, CED

Google Inc. set plans in motion to open up a Web-based video service that will allow visitors to buy and rent a range of titles from studios and networks, including CBS.

Announced Friday, the Google Video Store will feature commercial-free primetime and library fare from CBS, including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Survivor, and The Amazing Race, as well as I Love Lucy, The Brady Bunch, My Three Sons, and the Star Trek Deep Space Nine and Voyager series.

CBS hopes the move will attract eyeballs that are drawn more to PCs than to television screens.

"Making our programming accessible to the Google Video Store guarantees our shows significant new exposure to millions of users who are likely to access this Web service and who may not be traditional TV viewers," said CBS President & CEO Leslie Moonves.

Giving a nod to sports fans, Google Video will also serve up NBA games from the 2006 season (for a fee) as well as some archival footage from the league. Google said it will offer entire games for this season, including playoff games.

The service will also supply music videos from Sony BMG, independent flicks from Greencine.com, footage from ITN, Charlie Rose interviews, cartoons from Classic Media (Felix the Cat and Rocky and Bullwinkle, among them), and children's programming from Clearvue.

True to its "Store" name, the service will also sell titles from networks such as Here! TV, HDNet, SOFA Entertainment, Trinity Broadcasting Network, Wheels TV and Wilderness Film India Ltd.

The service will also tap the power of Google's search technologies, allowing users to sift through listings by category and title and other key words.

Because it is introducing yet another digital rights management platform to the table, Google said users will be able to download and watch "non-copy-protected" Google Video fare via the Apple iPod and Sony Playstation Portable.

In addition to network fare, the service will also support user-supplied content, a prime element of its current Google Video Beta.

"For video producers and anyone with a video camera, Google Video will give you a platform to publish to the entire Google audience in a fast, free and seamless way," said Google Co-founder and President, Products Larry Page.

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