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Rentrak Makes In-Roads In Local Measurement

Rentrak Corp. has created a new local TV station measurement system and
confirmed Sunflower Broadcasting as its first customer Monday, Dec. 14.

The new service is called StationView Essentials and features second-by-second
viewing data at the station level. The data allows station owners to view
competitive data from other stations in the market and monitor program performance
leading in to ad breaks, according to the company’s Website. Rentrak provides
data from the top 100 markets based on anonymous household viewing.

Sunflower, a subsidiary of Schurz Communications, operates KWCH-DT, a CBS
affiliate in Wichita, Kansas. The firm signed a long term agreement with
Rentrak which is looking to broaden its turf in the TV measurement arena.
Rentrak said in a release that the data would “help local stations change the
conversation with advertisers and compete more effectively for local ad

Meanwhile Nielsen’s measurement of local TV has come under fire from media
agencies in recent weeks. The measurement giant is under pressure to improve
its measurement of local markets, some of which are still collected via paper
diaries. Some media agencies, including Group M, are angry about Nielsen’s
decision to stop issuing local live viewing data. Nielsen opted to offer.
instead. live-plus same day viewing data which includes DVR playback and is a
larger number to agencies. Agencies said they want to see all streams of data
including the live-only numbers. Nielsen countered that it consulted with all
its clients on its decision.

Nielsen has been in overdrive in recent months working with companies that can
help provide advertisers with more detail on the effectiveness of their TV
buys. Nielsen said Monday, it is creating a joint venture aimed at
tying viewing behavior to purchase behavior. The joint venture with Catalina
Marketing Corp. integrates Nielsen’s TV, internet and household purchase
panels with data from 50 million shoppers, provided by Catalina. Nielsen is
heralding the arrangement as the first TV ROI measurement service using its
national people meter panel. The new firm will be based in Cincinnati, Ohio and
headed by Mike Nazzaro, who has worked for both Nielsen executive and Procter
& Gamble.