Google TV Ads may not have received a figurative "standing O" from all cable networks, but Ovation TV will begin selling inventory via the platform next month.
Ovation, which focuses on performance art and targets an upscale audience, has programming stretching from a reality series about students at Juilliard, to the L.A. Philharmonic, to one-time hit films such as "Dead Poets Society."
Through the deal, Ovation will offer advertisers inventory on the online exchange, reaching all its 33 million homes.
Some networks have been resistant to allowing Google to sell spots on the auction-based platform, believing it could turn their inventory into a commodity and devalue it. Still, the system does allow networks to reject prices that are deemed to be too low.
NBC Universal sells inventory for six networks on the platform, including SyFy, which is in 96 million homes and among the top-20 highest-rated cable networks.
But NBCU has not put inventory for two of its highest-profile channels, USA and Bravo, up for bid on the system. No other owner of a large portfolio of cable networks has a Google deal.
Advertisers benefit from TV Ads, Google says, by receiving second-by-second reporting on the viewing of their spots, which is gleaned from set-top-box data. That can provide a gauge about when -- or if -- viewers tune out during a 30-second spot.
At a gathering last week of the Collaborative Alliance -- an industry group organized by agency MPG that meets to discuss emerging TV technologies -- Google TV Ads engineering manager Dan Zigmond offered some findings in that arena.
He said tune-out patterns are fairly consistent, and major drop-offs in viewership generally begin at second three of a 30-second ad. Strikingly, he said that while appealing creative does retain viewers longer, retention rates do not increase markedly.
"That quantifiable effect is less than many of us expected," he said at the event.
Zigmond also said Google schedules several thousand spots a day via TV Ads, although most run within inventory provided by Dish Network to a subset of the 13.6 million homes it serves. But spots can also appear nationally on what will be 13 networks next month.
For networks that are not rated, the second-by-second tracking TV Ads offers can provide a performance gauge.
In addition to Ovation and the NBCU group, other networks on TV Ads include the Hallmark Channel, Outdoor Channel and GSN.