Viacom joins Google blockade; pulls Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon from Google TV

Add one more programmer to the list of those blocking their content from Google TV: Viacom-owned Comedy Central--home to The Daily Show and the Colbert Report--this weekend joined ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and Hulu in pulling its content from Google's smart-TV initiative.

Along with Comedy Central programming, Viacom has also blocked content from MTV Networks/VH1 and Nickelodeon from Google's attempt to get a piece of the ocer-the-top pie. Of course, after years of rancorous legal battles between Google and Viacom over YouTube's alleged copyright infringment, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that Viacom finally pulled the plug.

Google TV users who tried to watch Comedy Central got the increasingly common "black screen of death" with the one line "Sorry, this content is unavailable for your device" that is becoming almost ubiquitous as the battle lines between programmers and over-the-top delivery are drawn.

Viacom is no stranger to content battles with over-the-top video outlets. In March, it snagged its content from Hulu and sparked a pretty fair public outcry from fans of the Daily Show and Colbert. Earlier this month, however, Viacom CEO Phillippe Dauman said the company was closely watching customer acceptance of Hulu and Hulu Plus. The Daily Show consistently had been a top performer for Hulu. Viacom's involvement in online video and streaming video is a work in progress, said Dauman. The company also owns Paramount Pictures, as well as the largest stake in the Epix movie channel.

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