Comscore Launches Faster Local TV Ratings Service

Comscore said it has begun providing its local television clients ratings data quicker--within 48 hours or less of broadcast.

The new product, Comscore QuickScore, is designed to help broadcasters make faster and more efficient ad sales, programming and promotion decisions.

Giant broadcaster Nexstar Media Group helped Comscore develop the new product and is among the first clients that will be getting the preliminary QuickScore data, which will cover the top 30 markets plus Columbus, Ohio, and Hartford., Conn.. QuickScore will measure Big 4 network affiliates, plus big independents, including Nexstar-owned WGN-TV, Chicago.

Related: Comscore in Breakthrough Deal for Comcast TV Data

It previously took two weeks for stations to get ratings data from Comscore.

“Nexstar Broadcasting is encouraged with the development of QuickScore and Comscore’s more expedient ratings delivery service,” said Tim Busch, president of Nexstar Broadcasting. “We look forward to working with Comscore in their newest offering to provide timely ratings data across many Nexstar markets, and with our advertising and marketing partners, who will receive the benefit of this additional viewership reporting.”

Comscore said it plans to expand into other markets in the coming quarter.

“We are proud to have quickly developed this ability to get our clients the insights they need in the time frame when it matters the most,” said Comcast CEO Bill Livek. “QuickScore will allow our clients to expedite decisions to positively impact their programming, promotional and advertising strategy.”

Comscore is in a better position to launch new products after settling fraud charges in September 2019. The charges were related to accounting issues that surfaced four years ago.

Since acquiring Rentrak in 2016, Comscore has been competing for local station business with Nielsen, which offers overnight ratings in its largest, metered markets.

Comscore bases its ratings mainly on data from 30 million cable set-top boxes and argues that panel-based measurement systems can’t keep up with the new platforms and devices viewers are using today.

”As panel-based television measurement struggles with unprecedented challenges to maintain panel quality because of sample declines and technology maintenance during the Coronavirus crisis, Comscore’s passive measurement provides the stability the industry seeks,” Comscore said. 

Nielsen responded that it has a long history of working with clients.

“We deliver data overnight in the largest markets and have done so for decades. Our measurement is the only service that can provide data on both households and individual demographic audiences for all media types (over-the-air, cable, OTT and digital). Additionally, and importantly, Nielsen panels fully represent the geographies and ethnic diversity of each unique market,” said Peter Bradbury, Nielsen’s U.S. chief commercial officer.

Related: Sinclair Signs Long-Term Deal with Nielsen

"Nielsen uses return path data in many of our markets as an added data source to complement our panels. We have been working with this data for many years and have assessed its accuracy against our panels, which serve as a truth set to ensure completeness and quality of data. Nielsen has done groundbreaking work in the area of adjusting big data to make it usable for currency grade measurement. Using big data without such adjustments results in inaccurate, incomplete and potentially biased estimates,” Bradbury said. .

“Ultimately, when your only tool is a hammer, you treat every project like it's a nail. Nielsen is uniquely fortunate, thanks to significant investment and decades of leadership, to have built a large chest filled with unique tools so that we can bring the right and best choice to each individual project,” Bradbury said.

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.