Gray Signs For Local Rentrak Ratings

Rentrak, which strives to sell a measurement product for local markets more compelling than Nielsen's, has inked a deal with Gray Television involving two Kansas DMAs. Gray's ABC affiliate in Wichita and CBS outlet in Topeka will subscribe to what's known as StationView Essentials.

The Rentrak service provides second-by-second data -- and attendant insight into commercial-skipping -- on a local level. Rentrak broke into the Wichita market as Sunflower Broadcasting began to use StationView last year for the CBS and CW channels. Four of its stations now receive its data in the 69th-largest DMA.

Executed most notably in Columbus, Ohio, Rentrak's strategy is to persuade one station in a market to use its granular data and successfully boost ad sales -- then have other stations follow to keep up.

Rentrak derives data from homes with boxes served by Dish Network, AT&T U-verse and Charter Communications. Wichita has been served by U-verse for over a year.

Wichita was the first market where StationView Essentials was deployed, and now Rentrak says it serves 36 stations in 18 markets.



Nielsen is pursuing a "hybrid" strategy for using set-top-box data locally, looking to meld numbers from the boxes with its traditional panel-based measurement. It believes the combination will offer better insight into demographics -- as well as viewership -- across a full market, not just in homes with the boxes.

TiVo has had a local-market service since the summer of 2009 available in San Francisco, Orlando and Tucson. But after launching it, the company has not announced any clients or offered any comment on rollout.

1 comment about "Gray Signs For Local Rentrak Ratings".
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  1. Andrew Crowley from ggiyt, July 13, 2010 at 9:16 a.m.

    Can someone explain to me why local stations are paying money to Rentrak for a service they can get for free? Rentrak doesn't even own the services, they get it from other sources. And where are the demographics? what a scam!

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