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Google and NBC Universal end two-year TV ad agreement

Large_NBC_logoNBC Universal and Google have announced the dissolution of their ad-sales partnership, reports Adweek. The split is a blow to Google, which is quickly moving to enter the TV space with Google TV.

Under the 2008 agreement, Google has been selling ads for several NBCU channels, including CNBC, Syfi, MSNBC, Oxygen, Chiller, and Sleuth. NBCU offered advertising time from these networks to Google using the search company’s TV Ads platform, which bears similarity to its Adwords and Adsense Internet platforms, allowing companies to bid on ads in an auction environment.

“We’re extremely pleased to join forces with Google on this effort, which will help us develop better accountability and ROI 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 2008. “This is another step in our commitment to trying innovative advertising approaches and testing new technologies that can help benefit our clients.”

A grand idea, but what happened? According to NBCU representatives, buyers complained that Google wasn’t given enough valuable ad slots, such as those in primetime (8 to 11 p.m.) and NBCU decided that it can get earn more by selling its own ads in its own manner. Below are the official statements by both companies.

NBC: “We’re not currently contributing inventory into the Google marketplace, but we continue to work with Google on multiple projects involving advanced advertising.”

Google: “While we are no longer offering NBC Universal inventory through Google TV Ads, NBC Universal continues to be a great partner to Google. Both NBC and Google are committed to bringing more relevance to TV viewership and advertising. CNBC is an important partner in the launch of Google TV and we are working together on research studies.”

We may have seen our first early casualty of the impending Comcast purchase of NBC Universal. Comcast has its own plans for the future of television and may be threatened by the impending release of Google TV. NBC, along with the other major broadcast networks, has opted out of Google’s plans to merge the Internet and television.