NBCUniversal and Google compete to help Netflix develop ad-supported tier

Comcast Corp. CMCSA,
+ 1.09%
GOOGL from NBCUniversal and Alphabet Inc.
Google has become the top candidate to work with Netflix Inc. NFLX,
+ 4.67%
and help the streaming company create an advertising-compatible service level for people familiar with the topic.

Netflix, which expects to increase revenue by selling ads around its programming, is still in the early stages of strategy development and has been exploring a number of links over the past few weeks.

A partnership with NBCUniversal would probably be exclusive, said people familiar with the matter. Comcast’s video ad unit, FreeWheel, would provide technology to help deliver ads, while NBCUniversal’s ad sales team would help sell ads in the U.S. and Europe, people said.

A partnership with NBCUniversal would likely involve revenue sharing, and a problem could be whether Netflix would be guaranteed a certain amount of revenue, they said. Linda Yaccarino, president of global advertising and NBCUniversal partnerships, would be a major player in that partnership.

An extended version of this story appears on WSJ.com.

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