Those folks at Google
To say that this service is in beta mode might be an understatement -- even for the company with the understated, plain-white-background home page. For the moment, the number of TV providers the company currently indexes is limited -- PBS, the NBA, Fox
But the possibilities for Google are nonetheless impressive. Among the highlights the company listed: program previews using still images, information about upcoming airings, and keyword searches within specific programs. This all has the potential to be of great interest to paying broadcasters who are looking for new ways to raise awareness of their programming.
It's pretty neat. Typing "Gilbert Arenas" into the box lets me know that CBS Morning News covered the Washington Wizards' recent impressive win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. "Bart Simpson" returns airtime information I can tailor by ZIP code. And "Johnny Carson" turns up several results discussing the passing of the late late-night comic legend.
With one move, Google has sent a warning shot across the bow of Gemstar-TV Guide's
In short, while it doesn't take a genius to know that people are going to spend more and more time online, Google seems to have a certain genius for figuring out how to serve surfers -- and its paying customers.
Fool contributor Dave Marino-Nachison doesn't own any of the companies in this story.