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NBCU, Google, Unveil Data-Sharing, Ad-Selling Alliance

Google is trying to bring some of its power to television. And to get there, have signed on NBC Universal for a "strategic multi-year advertising, research and technology partnership" with its fledgling Google TV Ads platform.

For Google TV Ads, which applies its auction model to advertising inventory on television, it's the highest-profile partner yet, although even this deal will cover only a small percentage of NBCU's massive store of ad space.

Inventory from NBCU channels Sci Fi, Oxygen, MSNBC, CNBC, Sleuth and Chiller will be made available to Google in the coming months, with potential to expand onto other NBCU properties in the future.

Google, of course, has motives far beyond selling a few late-night cable ads. It wants data, lots of it, and it promises to give advertisers untold riches of viewer information.

"With the addition of NBC Universal inventory, advertisers using the Google TV Ads platform can reach NBCU Cable's national audience and gain access to viewership data at an unprecedented scale," the companies said in a joint release.

The two companies said they will work together to develop more effective advertising metrics, attract non-traditional advertising partners to NBCU, in addition to incorporating the self-service buying opportunities of Google TV Ads.

Through its partnership with Dish Network, the Google TV Ads platform can report second-by-second set top box data, allowing advertisers more precise viewership data.

NBCU will gain access to the large base of advertisers using Google's AdWords online advertising program, many of whom are not currently television advertisers, the companies said. NBC Universal will also maintain its direct relationships with agencies and advertisers and can set parameters around the ad purchases.

The two companies will share in all ad revenue and explore ways to expand the partnership in the future, including adapting the platform to add local inventory. The two will also "collaborate on a series of custom marketing and research projects using the Google TV Ads platform."