Despite Cox Deal, Google TV Ads Still Clawing Back From NBC Loss

Google signed a deal with Cox Media, which will add its cable TV inventory to the search giant’s television ad network. Despite the new addition, Google has yet to regain the inventory losses it experienced when NBC Universal pulled out of the fledgling network in 2009.

Google TV Ads said Cox Media will add television ad inventory from more than 75 channels, boosting Google’s TV ad inventory from cable operators to 42 million households in the U.S., according to a blog post by Mark Piesanen, director of strategic partner development for Google TV Ads.

Google also unveiled a platform update allowing TV partners to add inventory associated with fragmented audience segments in the hopes of generating targeted audiences with enough reach to satisfy national advertisers. The company said the updated system streamlines inventory ordering, trafficking, and reporting. According to the blog post, “Cox is the first major cable operator to choose this new Google TV Ads ad management solution, and moving forward we will be integrating with new partners, including Suddenlink Communications, which reaches 1.2M households.”

As with its deals with DIRECTV, Verizon FiOS, and Viamedia, Google’s promise to Cox is to bring more national ad dollars to the cable operator, part of Cox Communications.

A Cox spokesperson confirmed the Google TV deal, noting in an email that Cox Media would “wholesale some of our ad spot inventory” to Google.

According to the Google blog post, Mike Zeigler, Cox Media’s VP of operations and field management, stated, “Our new partnership with Google TV Ads allows us to reach new market segments through a highly automated and efficient distribution platform.”

Google is still clawing its way back to where its TV ad platform was a few years ago. In 2009, Google told ClickZ News its network could reach up to 54 million households, 12 million more than it reaches today. At the time, Google included NBC Universal cable inventory. In October of 2010, NBC Universal and Google ended their two-year television inventory deal.

Google today said it plans to expand its deals with Suddenlink and Cox in order to increase its inventory in the future.

In the past, advertisers have suggested that the Google TV platform is best suited for direct response ad buyers. Some have contended the quality of Google’s TV ad inventory is lacking, which could be an obstacle when it comes to attracting brand advertisers who typically seek premium inventory.

Google did not respond to a query by press time.

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