Google ads soon on DirecTV?

Search giant is in talks to sell television advertising through the satellite TV provider, according to blog VentureBeat.

Google is in talks to sell television advertising with satellite TV broadcaster DirecTV, Silicon Valley blog VentureBeat reported on Tuesday, citing an unnamed source.

The report comes a month after reports that Google had signed a similar deal with its first major customer, EchoStar Communications' Dish Network. EchoStar and Google confirmed last week that they had partnered to create an automated system for buying, selling and measuring the impact of TV ads running on EchoStar's national, 125-channel Dish Network.

"We cannot comment on market rumor or speculation," Google spokesman Brandon McCormick said in response to the VentureBeat report. DirecTV was not immediately available to comment.

Google, whose pay-per-click Web search ad system has transformed the effectiveness of online advertising, aims to bring the same measurability to offline media including radio, print--and starting in May--TV, via EchoStar.

According to VentureBeat, Google's deal with DirecTV has been hung up by DirecTV's ownership restructuring.

"The DirecTV deal is taking more time than Dish's to close because DirecTV is managing the ownership change announced...last year," according to the blog. "The deal with Google will go through eventually, says a source who wants to remain anonymous."

Last week, shareholders of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. approved a plan to swap its stake in DirecTV for shares in its own company, leaving John Malone's Liberty Media in control of DirecTV. The move resulted in the exit of News Corp. from the U.S. satellite TV market.

Analysts say Google's TV ambitions are likely to meet resistance from cable operators Comcast, Time Warner Cable or Cox Communications, who jealously guard data their cable systems generate on customer-viewing habits, seeing it as the crown jewel of what they sell to advertisers.

At stake is the roughly $70 billion-a-year U.S. television advertising business--still far and away the biggest place where corporate brands spend their vast marketing budgets.

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