Google to Be Ad Arbitrageur for NBC's Cable Networks

10 September 2008

NEW YORK: In its most penetrative cross-media thrust to date, Google has slashed its way into the TV ad sales market by clinching a deal with six NBC Universal cable networks.

The new arrangement – the first in which Google has acted as a TV ad go-between – will enable the search giant's customers to bid for ads on six NBC-owned cable networks, among them Sci-Fi, Oxygen, MSNBC and CNBC.

Although lips are zipped as to how many TV spots NBC will offer via Google, the twosome will split ad revenues.

There is also talk of extending the scheme to cover NBC's local markets, for example affiliates of its flagship network, Spanish-language stations and other assets such as websites.

  • Separately, Google has teamed with London-headquartered bank HSBC and US media entrepreneur John Malonein in a project to provide internet access via satellite to three billion people in Africa and other emerging markets.

    Branded O3b Networks, the new $750 million (€530.94m; £427.52m) venture will target people for whom broadband internet access is not otherwise commercially viable.

    The three main backers have each invested an initial $20m in the venture that will link mobile phone masts to broadband networks in a number of nations bordering the equator.

    Headquartered in the European tax haven of Jersey, the venture will now seek to recruit telephone and internet companies in emerging markets in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

  • Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online and The Times (UK); additional content by WARC staff