Nexstar Makes Deal With Comscore for Local Ratings

Giant station group Nexstar has signed a multi-year agreement with Comscore.

Under the agreement Comscore will provide measurement and ad sales currency for all Nexstar markets, including the stations recently acquired from Media General.

Comscore also recently announced a deal to provide local measurement for E.W. Scripps stations and one with Gray Television calling for Comscore to be used exclusively in 80 of its 91 markets.

As part of the deal, Comscore will be delivering a new local cross-platform currency that will provide audience insights across local linear TV, mobile, desktop and over-the-top.

Nexstar will be one of the first broadcasters to deploy Comscore’s advanced cross-platform data attribution and audience measurement across its broadcast and digital platforms.

Comscore will also be expanding its over-the-air survey. This expansion will provide the industry with more representative, actionable and competitive insights into local OTA and OTT viewing behaviors.

“Over our eight-year relationship, Comscore has proven to be a valuable partner in providing trusted currency and measurement data and our expanded relationship will provide Nexstar with access to Comscore’s combined linear and digital platform data and its advanced audience targeting capabilities,” said Timothy Busch president of Nexstar Broadcasting.

“Our expanded relationship with Comscore will enable Nexstar to deliver unparalleled data with scale in measurement and combined audience data across all platforms in all Nexstar markets,” Busch said. “As consumer content consumption evolves, Comscore’s ability to deliver enhanced data -- and ultimately universal media measurement -- will support Nexstar and our go to market approach as we advance our strategies to best serve local and national advertising clients, particularly at the agency level, with qualified linear and digital viewing data.”

Nexstar is in the process of acquiring Tribune Media, which would further expand its footprint.

“As an industry innovator and one of our valued clients, we’re excited to expand our partnership with Nexstar,” said Bryan Wiener, CEO of Comscore. “With consumer behavior rapidly moving cross-platform, we’re thrilled to work with Nexstar to pioneer a modern local currency alternative to the status quo. We look forward to continuing to innovate on behalf of our partners, including Nexstar, to deliver content providers and advertisers the solutions required to seamlessly connect linear and digital behavior and ultimately, help our clients and their advertisers drive business growth.”

Comscore last year completed a re-audit of its books after account issues were discovered. The re-audit cost the company millions and resulted in management turnover and the delay in introducing cross-platform products that would help it compete with market-leader Nielsen.

Nielsen, meanwhile, is under pressure from a large shareholder and is in the process of s strategic review that could lead to all or parts of the company being sold.

It is also at an impasse with one of its largest clients, CBS. CBS cited local measurement as one area where it thought Nielsen was “particularly challenged.”

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.