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Google Said to Discuss Own Web TV Service With Media

Investment Banks Seek Business in Patent Deals as M&A Work Slows
A product demonstrator uses a remote control to navigate a menu on a LG Smart TV with Google TV at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Google Inc., operator of the world’s most-popular search engine, has held discussions with media companies to introduce its own online-television service, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The product would offer viewers television packages that bypass cable subscriptions, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The talks, which also cover issues related to online piracy, are preliminary and nothing is imminent, the people said.

Google is rolling out new services to attract users and fresh revenue through content partnerships that provide music, movies and television shows. At the same time, broadcast networks are searching for new ways to lure younger viewers more inclined to access shows and movies via smartphones and tablets.

The Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported Google’s discussions with media companies yesterday.

Such a service would be similar to one being developed by Intel Corp. that is slated for later this year. The company wants to reach consumers who prefer more flexibility in finding and watching shows, Eric Free, a vice president and general manager of the Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker, said last month. Intel is confident it can obtain programming for the service, he said.

Leslie Miller, a spokeswoman for Mountain View, California-based Google, declined to comment.

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