The big name television networks in the United States have had their issues with Google over the past few years as they feel it is the search engine giant’s obligation to filter search results for pirated content. Now that the Big G has launched a product that relies at least somewhat on network content, the television companies are definitely using that as leverage now.

Fox LogoFox was the last of the four big networks to turn off access to its content, and there is no word on what they want to turn it back on. Could they want money from Google? Do they just want filtering of the pirated content? What would it take for them to turn back on the videos?

Google TV is not yet dead, there are still basic cable channels allowing them access to content, and of course you can still use it for large scale Web surfing, but without the networks there is a definite hole in its usefulness.

What puzzles us about this whole thing is that it’s the networks that are losing out here.  Yes, filtering the pirated content would be nice, but you are cutting your shows off from further exposure, and you are losing out on potential ad revenue.  Cutting off this one product does nothing to keep people from watching your content, it merely eases the process.  And if something is too difficult, guess what, they just won’t bother.

Search results are no, if someone wants pirated content, they’re going to get it.  Someone isn’t going to turn to being a Torrent junkie simply because they see a listing in Google results.  The technology know how threshold to doing Torrents is not exactly low.  You have to know you need a client, how to set it up properly, learn about opening ports on your router and so on.  This isn’t something Aunt Judy is suddenly going to take on just because she saw the latest episode of The Biggest Loser pop up on Google.

Big media companies are notorious for not understanding technology.  The networks could be making more money because of Google TV, but instead all they want to do is focus on how much money they think they’ve lost.

What say you.  Are the networks right for doing this?