Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Fox was said to be pressing Nielsen hard on two major points in its contract renewal: the financial terms of the deal, as well as its methodological concerns over the current and future state of local TV audience measurement.
“Nielsen and Fox Television Stations Inc. have come to a mutually beneficial resolution to continue their longstanding relationship,” the companies said in a joint statement attributed to Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy and Nielsen President, U.S. Media, Lynda Clarizio. “Both companies are committed to more meaningful and accurate measurement in local markets. We look forward to a strong and productive relationship going forward.”
According to executives familiar with the negotiations, they became terse and Fox was preparing to pull out of Nielsen and go exclusively with rival Rentrak, which draws its local TV audience estimates from digital set-top viewing data.
While a number of major TV station groups have begun licensing Rentrak’s ratings, including Fox, none except the Sinclair Broadcast Group ever pulled out of Nielsen. According to a Nielsen spokesman, Sinclair did pull its business in 2012, but entered a new contract with Nielsen three months later. According to a Rentrak spokesman, Sinclair remains a Rentrak client as well.