Google will offer a wide range of local and national US TV channels, including pay bundles from Showtime and Starz, as part of its Google Fibre experiment in Kansas.
The service, which rolls out in the US state next month, will offer internet speeds of 1GB – 100 times the US average. It will use Google’s custom-built infrastructure, with web access to be complemented by a comprehensive TV service, in a direct challenge to established US cable TV operators.
Google has detailed around 160 channels that will be available through its Gigabit+ TV package to date, including 126 local and national networks – such as A&E, Bloomberg, Comedy Central, Discovery, Lifetime, MTV, Nickelodeon and Telemundo. However, it is yet to secure content from the likes of ESPN, HBO or Fox.
For an extra US$10 per month, Google Fibre users can subscribe to 17 Starz channels, including Starz, Encore and MoviePlex. A Showtime package is priced the same and includes 11 networks such as Showtime, Sho 2 and The Movie Channel. For US$5 per month, an Hispanic option includes networks such as Univision Tlnovelas.
Google said its Gigabit internet and TV service would cost US$120 per month, while internet alone will be priced at US$70.
For both packages, Google said it would waive a US$300 installation fee. The TV package will include a free Nexus 7 tablet, which can be used as a remote control, and a DVR box capable of recording up to eight shows at once and which also offers on-demand access to internet content.