Quick, everybody – get you Nostradamus hats on. Google has applied for a license to distribute an at-home video service in Kansas City, Missouri, which has become unofficially known as “the luckiest city in America” after the company chose it as the test site for its fiber-optic Internet service. Regulators approved their application late last month, meaning that Kansas City could well become the very first place that Google starts competing directly with cable and satellite television providers. Their internet infrastructure would almost certainly form the backbone of this video service.
Hold up, Kansas City Stars: there’s nothing here that guarantees the Big G will actually follow through with the application. The approval simply gives them the option of delivering traditional television services in the area, if they so choose. It’s certainly indicative of Google’s future intentions – after all, what better way to compliment Google TV than its own television service? But as of now, this is all theoretical. You know, like Google’s HUD glasses. Or Their self-driving cars. Or that crazy story about Google buying a mobile OS called Android.
What could Google do with a terrestrial television service? First of all, they’ve got enough diversified money to offer it at a price point that would crush competition wherever they went. With a little integrated advertising magic, it could easily become a profitable and cheap alternative to expensive satellite and cable options, especially when running on Google’s own data lines. We can dare to dream that Google might listen to the long-standing wish of TV patrons everywhere and offer a-la-cart programming, something that’s been denied to pay TV customers for decades in favor of expensive bundles.
Of course, to do this, Google would need to secure the channels and other video content from providers… something they haven’t been all that great at historically. Give it a try, Google – what have you got to lose?[via The Verge]