NBC to Use Google TV Ads for Some Cable Nets

Google, which has been trying to get more than a toehold in the TV ad market, will start brokering the sale of television ads on some cable networks owned by NBC Universal. According to the late afternoon press release, the two companies will form a “multi-year advertising, research and technology partnership,” whereby on a national level, NBC will make available inventory from Sci Fi, Oxygen, MSNBC, CNBC, Sleuth and Chiller in the coming months (no Top Chef on Bravo for you!).

NBCU and Google will split ad revenue, and NBC will get access to the database of Google AdWords users (many of whom are not currently advertising on TV). The two companies will also work to adapt the TV Ads service for use in local market ad inventories as well.

Google TV Ads opened to the public in May after a year of private testing. The service promises to open up and simplify the ad process while providing more targeted reach to advertisers. The move is a shift for Google, which had been focused on working with cable and satellite operators, not individual networks.

Google has been selling some ads on the Dish Network satellite service, but so far has been unable to break out onto other operators beyond that. In working with Dish, the company has direct access to set-top boxes to better gauge the effectiveness of ads it places, something it won’t get by partnering with a cable programmer like NBCU. But Google and NBCU say they will work together on joint marketing and research projects to help advertisers better target their ads.

Google isn’t the only targeted ad game in town. Worried that the search giant could corner the TV ad market the same way it dominates the online ad market, cable companies banded together in the spring to form Canoe Ventures to offer advertising solutions. Meanwhile online ad firm Spot Runner has raised a total of $111 million dollars in funding, though it recently laid off 50 people in a strategic realignment.

Image courtesy of Google.

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