Rentrak, the measurement company using set-top-box data as a basis for local market ratings, has received an endorsement form the Gray Television station group. Gray, which had been receiving Rentrak data in four markets, has added several other DMAs where it operates.
The expanded deal includes the CBS station in Colorado Springs and a triopoly in Charlottesville, Va.
Gray had been getting data, which can track second-by-second viewing patterns, for the NBC affiliate in Omaha and ABC outlet in Wichita and other stations. In markets where Nielsen diaries have been the primary measurement sources for years, station groups are hoping the Rentrak system offers a viable alternative.
"Rentrak provides our stations with the comprehensive, electronic, passive and highly predictive audience measurement local broadcasters have been seeking for years," stated Nick Matesi, the general manager of KKTV in Colorado Springs.
Rentrak culls data from Dish Network, cable operators Charter and Midcontinent Communications and AT&T, touting itself as the only measurement company with data from a satellite, cable and telco TV provider.
One argument made for Rentrak is that its data is derived from a much larger number of homes than traditional Nielsen panels.