NBCU and Google Link to Sell TV Ads

Making further inroads into the TV advertising business, Google has formed a multi-year strategic partnership with NBC Universal.

As part of the agreement, Google will sell through its Google TV Ads ad platform limited inventory from some of NBCU’s cable networks, including Sci Fi, Oxygen, MSNBC, CNBC, Sleuth, and Chiller.

The two companies have also agreed to work together to develop more effective advertising metrics, and will explore adding inventory from other NBCU properties, including its local TV stations and collaborate on a series of custom marketing and research projects. Not included in the deal is inventory from the NBC TV Network.

The two companies will share in the ad revenue generated through Google’s platform.
Google has been looking to break into TV advertising for more than a year, striking deals with DISH Network. The search giant has also sells limited radio inventory from companies such as Emmis Communications, Greater Media, and Clear Channel.

Like other media companies that have tested Google’s ad platform, NBCU is looking to lure new advertisers to its properties and explore new metrics for measuring ad results and understanding the media mix to optimize campaigns.

Mike Pilot, president of NBC Universal sales and marketing, and Tim Armstrong, Google’s president of advertising and commerce for North America, said that the partnership would make TV ads more accountable.

“We’re extremely pleased to join forces with Google on this effort, which will help us develop better accountability and ROI metrics for our advertisers and attract an entirely new group of clients to television advertising,” said Pilot. “This is another step in our commitment to trying innovative advertising approaches and testing new technologies that can help benefit our clients.”

While dipping a toe in the Google waters, NBCU’s agreement still leaves it with a lot of control over its inventory with the ability to reject inventory from Google. Ads on Google will carry a rate minimum and spots must still go through NBCU’s standards and practices and quality controls.

To date, much of Google