With another push into the TV ad business, Google on Monday announced a deal with NBC Universal under which the Internet behemoth will sell an unspecified amount of inventory from six of NBCU's cable networks.
Under the deal -- the first time Google will broker ad sales for TV networks -- the two companies will work together to develop new advertising metrics in an attempt to "attract non-traditional advertising partners to NBCU" and sell a certain amount of TV ad space through the Google TV Ads platform.
As part of the agreement, NBCU said, it will maintain its direct relationships with agencies and advertisers and noted that can set parameters around the ad time it makes available through Google. The two companies will share in all ad revenue.
In what executives characterized as a test, NBCU will offer national advertising time from Sci Fi, Oxygen, MSNBC, CNBC, Sleuth, and Chiller through Google in the coming months, with potential to expand onto other NBCU properties in the future. In addition, the companies have agreed to work jointly on adapting the Google TV Ads platform for local market use.
“We’re extremely pleased to join forces with Google on this effort, which will help us develop better accountability and [return on investment] metrics for our advertisers and attract an entirely new group of clients to television advertising,” said Mike Pilot, president of NBCU sales and marketing, in announcing the partnership.
Google launched the TV Ads system this spring with Dish Network, offering a limited amount of the satellite operator's local avails. Initial advertisers in that test have included PC manufacturer Lenovo and Priceline.com, as well as much smaller companies, such as online perfume retailer FragranceNet.
NBCU noted that the deal gives it access to advertisers that use Google’s AdWords online advertising system, many of whom are not currently television advertisers.
NBCU and Google also will collaborate on a series of custom marketing and research projects using the Google TV Ads platform.