Fox Television Stations has signed up for the ratings service Rentrak. The “long-term agreement,” according to Rentrak, brings its StationView Essentials to all 28 Fox-owned stations.
“We are happy to have immediate access to Rentrak’s Advanced Demographics data,” said Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations. “More importantly, we expect this will accelerate the long overdue progress toward an accurate digital measuring system in local TV, one based on a census, not estimates, and one that measures all screens.”
Rentrak is rapidly signing up station partners for its ratings, though the broadcasters, for the most part, are not parting ways with Nielsen. While station leaders often grumble about Nielsen’s accuracy, it continues to be the currency with which agency buys are bought and sold.
“We are excited to welcome Fox as the first owned and operated Network TV group to go ‘all-in’ with Rentrak,” said Bill Livek, Rentrak vice chairman and CEO. “We look forward to helping Fox grow their business using the power of Rentrak’s census-like measurements and our Advanced Demographics.”
In response, Nielsen stressed its commitment to broadcast viewing measurement, and to Fox, in a statement that read, in part, "Nielsen has a rich history with Fox working on all aspects of media measurement–traditional, digital and qualitative." Nielsen cited the fall launch of a cross-platform product that rolls mobile TV measurement into television ratings.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.