LOS ANGELES (Fortune) -- The announcement from Google and NBC Universal hailing a joint venture to sell TV ads via Google's online service seemed like a nice bit of PR for both sides, signaling some thaw between the Web giant and the media establishment, and carrying the promise of new revenue streams for both sides.
And yet, based on close reading and conversations with people who were involved, the deal looks like a whole lot of nothing much - another Google (GOOG, Fortune 500)experiment that we likely will not hear of again for a long while. (Similar efforts by Google to move into the print and radio ad businesses have produced results that Google doesn't quantify and people have mostly stopped buzzing about.)
Ever since Google's market capitalization soared past those of the media giants, there has been much portent about the search king extending its Web advertising dominance into other forms of media, and a lot of hand-wringing over whether Google is friend or foe to entrenched players. In the meantime, Google has been occasionally putting out announcements like Monday's with NBC that seem more typical of a startup then an industry titan.