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Google to partner with NBC in TV advertising

Google will begin selling ads on cable networks owned by NBC Universal in a new partnership that will expand Google’s efforts to become a force in TV advertising, the companies announced last week.

NBC Universal will make a relatively small amount of advertising time on networks like MSNBC, CNBC, Sci Fi and Oxygen available for sale through Google’s TV Ads program in the coming months. The partnership could later be extended to other NBC Universal properties, “The New York Times” reported.

Google and NBC have also agreed to work together to tailor the Google TV Ads platform for local markets and to collaborate on research and development of new technology. The “Times” said the new deal suggests that large media companies, which have regarded Google with suspicion, may now be more willing to work with it.

Google first entered the TV advertising business 17 months ago, promising to help advertisers aim TV spots at specific audiences and to better measure their impact. But the company’s efforts have met with only moderate success. In particular, the “Times” said Google struggled to gain access to advertising inventory.

As it seeks to expand its reach into television, Google faces competition. This year, the nation’s largest cable providers, including Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox, teamed up to develop their own system to place targeted ads on television. The effort is called Canoe Ventures.

In a separate announcement, Google has also begun scanning microfilm from some newspapers’ historic archives to make them searchable online, first through Google News and eventually on the newspapers’ own Web sites.

The new program expands a two-year-old service that allows Google News users to search the archives of some major newspapers and magazines, including “The New York Times,” “The Washington Post” and Time, which were already available in digital form. Readers will be able to search the archives using keywords and view articles as they appeared originally in the print pages of newspapers.