Google Will Be Your Next Cable Provider (Report)

Fri Nov 4, 2011 3:59am EDT

Not content with being the worldwide leader in search, Google may now become a cable-TV service provider as well, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The company has already announced a project to launch a high-speed Internet service in Kansas City (Missouri and Kansas), but it may also be considering adding on video and phone service to mirror the offerings of cable giants like Comcast and Time Warner Cable. 

Details like pricing and the channel lineup remain unclear and the only other destination under consideration is Palo Alto. Still, should Google choose to go forward with the plan, it could represent a major challenge to the existing cable providers -- especially given that Google has reportedly been talking to major players such as Disney, Time Warner and Discovery Communications.

Google would base the network on its own broadband service and, the Journal presumes, might offer lower subscription fees to undercut the competition.

This is Google’s second salvo directed towards the television industry in as many weeks.

Just last Friday, YouTube, owned by Google, announced it would be launching dozens of new YouTube channels with original programming, backed by high-profile names and companies like Jay-Z, Amy Poehler and Reuters.

Other companies, like Amazon and Netflix, have also been investing in more original content as the future of TV grows a little more hazy.

However, it remains one of the most lucrative businesses in the United States, so Google’s entrance on the cable side, rather than the digital streaming side, is big news no matter how early in the process this is.

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