Saying No to the $100 Million Bribe from Google

I wish I had more than a few dozen hours of video content. Maybe I’d get a sweet little offer from Google like the networks are getting. Courtesy of the, here’s a Business Week article about Google’s efforts to keep networks and programmers from suing YouTube/Google.

Here’s the funny thing. It’s the end of the year and you want to close your books favorably. How can you say no to $100 million? Especially if, say, the price was going to go down in 2007 (act now for our “2006 holiday bribe“).

I’ll tell you how you’d say no to the bribe. If you put your long-term interests above your short, and worked with “competitors” to build a network-friendly online consortium…. where consumers could find any show they need regardless of network. An iTunes or TiVo but one that wouldn’t demand a big piece of the action or have a separate agenda. An independent third-party that would aggregate programming online like Comcast has done in cable… but with allegiance to keeping all of network’s interests as a priority (I want to own my content, I want the majority of the ad dollars, but I recognize that nobody’s going to come to to find my stuff).

Nice idea, Kevin, but it can’t work. Why? First, a start-up would need eyeballs (like YouTube) to get a seat at the table. Second, this would require the networks to cooperate. Ultimately their instinct to compete will cause them to individually cede control. Now that’s Googlelicious.

Would write more, but my exile continues. I’m using a libary computer and I see two guys staring at me.