Google's TV Strategy A Flop So Far, Now Pitching Local Stations

Google (GOOG) has had a lot of trouble convincing the TV world that it can be trusted to sell their 30-second spots. Since it announced its first deal to sell TV ads on Dish Network (DISH) nearly a year ago, Google TV’s Mike Steib has spent a lot of time trying to convince other cable systems and networks to get onboard, with little success.

So Thursday Steib took his case to what he hopes will be a more receptive audience: local TV stations. His pitch: There are between 6,000 and 7,000 advertisers working with Google AdSense that would be happy to advertise on TV, but don’t know how to do it. Google (GOOG) could make that happen — and give local stations a new revenue stream.

“They think TV isn’t for them,” Steib told an audience at the Television Bureau of Advertising’s annual marketing conference. “We think TV is for them.”

Broadcasting & Cable described the room’s reaction as “curious.” We weren’t there, but our hunch is that the room was also “terrified.” Unlike their counterparts at the local newspapers, TV stations still haven’t had their ad revenues shredded by the Internet — yet. But it’s going to happen at some point. The question facing station owners: Do they work with Google — or wait and hope someone else offers a better choice?

Many Google investors are holding out hope that the company’s forays into TV and print advertising will one day produce a very material revenue stream. Based on the early results, don’t hold your breath.

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