Google TV set to launch in Europe

By Lee Kaelin on August 28, 2011, 12:41 AM

During his keynote speech at the annual Edinburgh Television Festival last Friday, Google Executive Eric Schmidt announced plans to launch Google's TV service in Europe starting early next year.

The original launch in the United States back in October 2010 received rather poor reviews, with questions being raised regarding lack of content being available. This has seen prices slashed on Logitech set-top boxes down as low as $99 in July, with similarly poor sales of the integrated Sony Bravia Google TV models.

How much of a success Google TV will become in Europe remains to be seen, with the UK broadcasters especially concerned about the damage it could do to their existing business models. Strong competition from established companies like Sky and Virgin Media could further complicate matters for the Internet search giant.

During the MacTaggart lecture, Schmidt sought to calm the fears of the broadcasting elite, taking full advantage of the fact he was the first non-TV executive to ever be invited to present the prestigious keynote lecture at the festival.

"We seek to support the content industry by providing an open platform for the next generation of TV to evolve, the same way Android is an open platform for the next generation of mobile” said Schmidt. “Some in the US feared we aimed to compete with broadcasters or content creators. Actually our intent is the opposite…".

Much like in the United States, Google faces a long battle to convince broadcasters and major media players of its intent to help evolve TV platforms with open technologies, rather than topple them.

Google seems to have firmly set its sights on a slice of the estimated $190bn TV advertising market which will do little to calm fears, especially when you consider Google's online advertising figures for 2010 were just $28.9bn in comparison.

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