Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has cut a deal with British broadcaster BSkyB to provide video programming and services like e-mail for the television firm's website. More important, Google video content will appear on BSkyB programming which runs through set-top boxes that store customer data. Google Adsense program for targeting advertising would be utilized to help serve relevant commercials.
The alliance joins Google with Rupert Murdoch, who controls the British company, which is run by his son.
Google stated that the deal was important to the search company. "This is a really, really big deal for us," said Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman and chief executive. "If it works, it will become our most lucrative deal from the get-go."
Indeed, that may well be so. Set-top box technology is employed in both satellite and cable deployments around the world. If Google's targeting tech allows ads to be more accurately served to consumers based on behavior, it would be a significant break-through for the TV advertising industry.
With newspaper and radio buying services already in place, Google goes after the TV.
Douglas McIntyre is a partner at 24/7 Wall St.