Google announced TV listings at NAB

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Google's president of global partnerships Daniel Alegre during a speech at the NAB Show
Google President of Global Partnerships Daniel Alegre at the NAB Show

I’m back from the NAB Show, worth the trip as always. As I adjusted to the stingy oxygen supply of Denver air, I wondered whether I heard Google’s President of Global Partnerships Daniel Alegre correctly yesterday morning. Turns out that I did.

The setting was so tame – a closing keynote on the subject “Transforming TV – VR, Cloud and the Multi-Screen Revolution.” Through the first quarter of Alegre’s remarks, he concentrated mostly on reassuring the half-filled room of broadcasters that TV is not dead or dying. Then Alegre slipped in the first of his surprises. “Today, I’m excited to announce that, coming soon, Google Search will have live TV listings,” he said. (For the rest of those surprises, mostly about TV ads, see Alegre’s blog post, or you can watch the whole keynote here.)

Wait a minute! Did Google bury its announcement of a new product in the middle of a speech on the last full day of the convention? Dieter Bohn of The Verge heard that too, writing “IMDB and whatever you’re using as a TV guide are getting some competition.”

This could be really big news in this niche. There are only a handful of companies behind the TV listings that get shuffled, reformatted and fed to various online, print, and device displays. Of course Google’s data and advertising background would make it a natural to swoop in and take over.

I’ve got a lot more to share with you the next few days as I decompress from the show, including some virtual reality and a live test of the next broadcast standard. Stay tuned.

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