Hollywood Deathly Afraid Of Google TV's Potential To Upend Television Business

Guess who’s scaring the pants off Hollywood these days? Nope, not teens in their bedrooms downloading screeners off BitTorrent or from shady release blogs, but Google. Yes, almighty Google has Hollywood feeling weak at the knees over the possibility of Google TV completely upending the television business model. Google vs. Hollywood: now there’s a WresleMania main event that would actually draw money.

There’s a story in the Los Angeles Times that notes the rather cool reception Google TV has received in certain circles in Hollywood. The main is one of self-preservation: how do we (Hollywood) prevent Google from using the Internet to destroy the “television business” like it destroyed the newspaper industry?

And I bet if you asked all the TV execs, that answer would be “stop Google TV from ever seeing the light of day.”

Hollywood: not exactly the most forward-looking place to do business, is it?

It’s afraid that if Google TV gets off the ground then people will stop paying for cable TV. Why watch Shark Week when you can watch videos of actual sharks running wild along the world’s coastlines?

Then there’s the fear that Google will control the signal: you buy a Google TV set-top box and now Google is completely in charge of the “signal,” so to speak. How do you advertise?

For its part, Google says that everyone should calm down, that all it wants to do is “use the Internet to change the television experience,” noting that the studios are already trying the same thing with Hulu and the like.

For a sneak peak at “Internet television,” install Plex on your Mac, grab a couple of plugins, then connect it to your TV. Ta-da! Internet-delivered content on your TV.

At one point in the future we’ll ask, “Man, when did Google loose its mojo?”

I think we’re living in that period of time. Net Neutrality and seemingly pointless escapades—why would anyone want to get into the television business in 2010?—will be seen as the first indications that Google became too big for its own good.