Google introduced late Monday night a prototype of a service to search American TV programming, a move which was been rumored for a while. This comes after much recent talk of Google hiring someone for dark fibre provisioning. Google Video lets people search over the text of TV shows. The service works by searching the text from the closed captioning of each program as it airs. The service presently searches and catalogs programming from PBS, Fox News, C-SPAN, ABC, and the NBA, among others, making broadcasts searchable the same day. More TV sources will be added in the future.
Jonathan Rosenberg, Google’s vice president of product management, has gone on the record stating that they may in the future integrate advertising into this service but for now are being conservative with the service.
Speaking of the content partnership with Google, Brian Lamb of C-SPAN stated “Our mission is to give viewers complete access to public affairs programming and we are committed to use new technologies to enhance the value of our services. This partnership with Google further demonstrates how new technologies will expand our audience and make it easier to conduct online searches of our content for information most relevant to them.”
The service will probably expand to Google UK and other local Google sites as happened with their shopping service “Froogle”. The service however doesn’t actually allow you to view the full shows or even video from them, something which rivals such as Yahoo and Blinkx allow you to do. Currently Google is in negotiations for content licensing.
Yahoo is already reacting to the Google service by adding a button on their main page to their existing video search service and they will also be offering searching of closed captioning of Bloomberg and BBC programs. Blinkx has recently done a deal with Fox and Sky which has given it access to the massive archives and now allow users to search them online.
The BBC has itself been putting video content online which it licenses to other vendors. There had been talk that eventually the BBC’s entire archive will be digitized and put online. The BBC archive houses some 500 million feet of film and 350,000 hours of video dating from 1934, with more than 200 hours of new content added every week.