CMR Expands BVS TV Monitoring Service to Canada

CMR, the provider of television advertising data, is expanding to Canada.

The company has begun monitoring stations in the top six Canadian markets -- Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Halifax, as well as 39 cable TV stations.

The company is making its Broadcast Verification Service (BVS), which monitors the broadcast of TV commercials, available in Canada. The ten-year-old service has never been available outside the U.S.

The move may be the first part of a global expansion for CMR, which enters Canada after being acquired by Taylor Nelson Sofres last year. "We're looking at other opportunities internationally since being acquired by Taylor Nelson," says Richard Radzik, VP of operations for BVS.

Advertisers and agencies buy BVS data to monitor the playing of their commercials. BVS tracks commercials overnight, making it preferable to the other ways of monitoring commercials--calling stations to confirm or waiting up to two months for affidavits or invoices.

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"There's been a need for it in Canada for quite awhile," Radzik says, noting that many of the U.S. agencies that use BVS have Canadian divisions and many of the advertisers who use BVS sell in Canada.

CMR will monitor over 50 local TV stations and additional cable stations in the Canadian markets.

CMR began monitoring Canadian stations in mid-November.

Tony Jarvis, senior vice president/director of strategic insight at Mediacom, a buying division of Grey Global Group, who started his career in Canada, sees CMR's move as a "replication of the situation in the U.S.," with CMR and Nielsen now competing there to offer TV advertising data. "Competition is always good and Canada has suffered from a lack of it," he says.

The data CMR compiles will be interesting to say the least since the Canadian TV market is more varied than the U.S. "All the American channels plus Canadian channels, then you have the situation in Quebec with all the French stations," Jarvis says. "The fragmentation is phenomenal."

Jarvis says Canadian TV ad buying differs from the U.S., too, with a bigger spot market. Canada has major regional networks, which permit regional spot buys, compared with the U.S., where spot buys are made locally. Canada also has CBC, a major not for profit network that has "strict controls on advertising," Jarvis says.

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