Google TV Ready To Add Cable Partners

Google is getting ready to expand its TV ad sales initiative, says the executive heading the program.

Mike Steib, the former NBC U exec who came over to Google this year, won’t cough up details about Google’s plans, but told us in an interview that an expansion was in the works: He told us to “stay tuned on the inventory front” when we asked about the chances that Google TV would finally add a TV network to its ad-auction network.

Right now Google’s network, launched this year, includes a small regional cable network and satellite tv provider Echostar (DISH), which came on in May; it reaches 14 million households, or about 30 million people. Additional inventory would mean at least one of two things: signing another cable/satellite/telco, or getting a TV network, likely a cable network, to sign on…

Says Steib: “There is nothing to announce yet, but what I can tell you is we’ve built a system that brings new advertisers to television, reduces the cost of managing accounts, and creates an environment where people can be matched up with (ad) inventory.”

Steib has two teams looking to expand that pool: one attempting to recruit new cable networks, and the other making the case to the cable networks.

It recently inked a deal with Nielsen to overlay demographic data, and has some enthusiastic–almost giddy–support from Madison Avenue. But even without specific deals with the networks, Google TV’s EchoStar deal allows them to place national ads on hundreds of cable channels. And they’ve had no trouble getting top marketers–including telcos, packaged goods, and travel advertisers–to take part.

Related: Google Add Nielsen To TV Tests
Google Ramps Up TV Tests

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