NBC is testing letting other companies sell its advertising by enabling Google time on some of its smaller cable channels. No you can't buy an ad through Google on NBC or even on USA, but you will be able to buy through Google on MSNBC, Sci Fi, Sleuth, Chiller, and Oxygen. For Google, it is a "desire to sell ads in different places besides next to its search engine, and NBC's efforts to get access to advertisers who currently advertise online through Google but don't place any ads on TV."
How long this "test" will last, only NBC will know. Will they decide to take back this inventory once they realize that they have the ad team in place to handle TV or because of the large number of cable channels they own and the even larger number of spots needed to fill, they have more than enough supply and it represents a chance to eke out a bit more revenue. Will NBC release more supply from some of its bigger properties or not? Time will tell. Once Project Canoe is fully functioning, this partnership may not be necessary.
Google is also using data from its partnership with Dish to gain more insight into targeting the ad to the viewer. Whether the Dish sample is enough to claim reliable, statistically relevant data, I wonder, but it is what they have available at the moment. For the time being though, Google can measure what ads are working and who may be watching.
I give credit to NBC for trying new ways to bridge the gap between internet and TV. They are clearly thinking about the future of TV.