Google Touts Deals with CBS, Viacom for Google Play Storefront

Google has inked pacts with CBS and Viacom to sell TV episodes through the Internet giant’s Google Play online store, as it continues to ratchet up competition with Apple and Amazon.com.

Nikesh Arora, Google’s soon-to-be-departing chief business officer, cited the recently reached deals on the company’s second-quarter earnings call as proof points of the momentum behind Google Play, which encompasses apps, movies, TV shows, music and other digital media for Android-based devices.

Google Play “continues to grow at breakneck speed,” he said, noting that the service now offers movies for rent and purchase in 90 countries. According to Google, there are more than 1 billion active users of Android devices worldwide.

CBS shows currently available to rent on Google Play include “The Big Bang Theory,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Two and a Half Men,” “The Mentalist” and “2 Broke Girls.”

Two series from the Eye not available on Google Play: “Under the Dome” and “Extant,” which CBS has licensed to Amazon as part of the e-retailer’s Prime Instant Video service. Under that agreement, Amazon Prime subscribers can watch current-season eps of both shows four days after they air.

Viacom’s TV content includes past seasons and episodes of Comedy Central’s “South Park,” “Inside Amy Schumer,” “Drunk History,” and “Key & Peele”; MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” “Awkward.” and “Jersey Shore”; and Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Sam & Cat,” “Bubble Guppies,” “Dora the Explorer” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” The Viacom shows launched on Google Play on June 25; a rep said additional content will be coming to the service including from CMT, VH1, BET, Spike, TV Land and Logo.

Other content partners for Google Play include movies studios Disney, 20th Century Fox, MGM, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Warner Bros; TV networks include ABC, ABC Family, AMC, BBC America, Bravo, Disney Channel, Food Network, Fox, FX, HBO, NBC, PBS, Showtime, Syfy and TNT.

Also Thursday, in announced results, Google said that Arora is leaving after almost 10 years at the company to join SoftBank as vice chairman and CEO of SoftBank Internet and Media. Omid Kordestani, who previously led Google’s sales teams, has been named to lead the business organization on an interim basis.

Over all, Google posted Q2 revenue of $15.96 billion, up 22% year over year, and net income of $3.42 billion (roughly flat with $3.23 billion in the second quarter of 2013).

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