ABC Stations Expand Rentrak Ratings Deal

The ABC Owned Television Stations Group said it expanded its relationship with audience measurement company Rentrak.

ABC was the first network station group to sign up with Rentrak, which competes with Nielsen to provide viewership data. The new agreement covers all eight ABC stations.

Rentrak recently signed deals covering all of the CBS, NBC and Fox owned stations.

The network-owned station groups also continue to work with Nielsen.

“We believe in providing our advertisers and agencies with the most accurate level of measurement. Partnering with Rentrak not only provides for greater transparency around our audiences, but also encourages greater competition in the marketplace and better measurement tools at the local level,” Rebecca Campbell (pictured), president of the ABC Owned Television Stations Group, said in a statement. “We have confidence that Rentrak’s larger sample sizes, along with its automotive and political data, provide us with the information we need.”

Analyst Laura Martin of Needham & Co. said the TV business has become Rentrak’s growth engine. Its TV revenue will be $31.3 million in 2014 and could rise to $95.7 million by 2016, she said.

In a research report, Martin said Rentrak measures 350 of the 2,000 local TV stations in the U.S., up from none five years ago. Rentrak is adding 40 to 50 new stations per quarter on contracts that are two to six years long and is registering a 92% renewal rate.

Rentrak provides measurement services for 90 national TV networks that are too small for Nielsen to measure.

“We thank ABC for years of support and are delighted that they have gone ‘all-in’ with Rentrak across their entire TV station group,” said Steve Walsh, executive VP of local television at Rentrak. “This expansion proves the value that Rentrak provides local television stations everywhere.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.