Syncbak Syncs Up With Nielsen

Syncbak, the CBS-backed startup that delivers live, in-market broadcast TV on mobile devices, has become the first to integrate a new platform from Nielsen that measures local audiences on a range of connected devices.

Nielsen said Syncbak has successfully tied in its proprietary Software Development Kit for its portfolio of apps.

Nielsen said the SDK will allow clients in local markets, who are encoding with Nielsen Watermarks, to measure audiences across mobile platforms, and later this year include that viewing in their television ratings when streaming the same program and same advertising as the live television program.

Nielsen noted that its mobile SDK will initially be integrated for the iOS platform, enabling Syncbak to have Nielsen measurement capabilities hard-coded into the app.

Syncbak and Nielsen will next work on integration on the Android platform.

Syncbak said it has over 150 television stations across the U.S. using their platform today. Its list of live markets includes San Diego and San Francisco; Colorado Springs; Boston; Miami; Lansing, Mich.; Topeka, Kan.; and Binghamton, N.Y., among others.

The integration announcement follows earlier work between the companies. Last year, Nielsen announced that Syncbak had completed a two-week tech trial with four CBS-owned TV stations in New York and Los Angeles. Nielsen unveiled its mobile-pointing SDK last October.

Working in tandem with TV partners, Syncbak’s platform replicates over-the-air broadcasts and delivers those simulcasts over the Internet and via cellular networks to select Android- and iOS-powered tablets and smartphones. Syncbak’s system uses a specialized device deployed at the station that intercepts the signal before transcoding and packaging those streams for delivery.

Syncbak’s work with Nielsen comes as U.S. broadcasters continue to battle it out in the courts with Aereo, a startup that uses an array of tiny antennas to capture over-the-air digital broadcast signals, and then encodes them into a format that can be delivered to subscribers over the Internet. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on August 22.

“Our goal is to take live broadcast television over the Internet in ways that make money and increase viewing,” said Syncbak founder and CEO Jack Perry, in a statement. “By integrating Nielsen’s technology, we support an economy that has served broadcasters and advertisers for decades and help eliminate risks and hurdles that would slow adoption of Internet TV, which we see as vital to the future of television. We’re thrilled to be part of this important step.”

In addition to CBS, the National Association of Broadcasters and the Consumer Electronics Association also have invested in Syncbak.