Sinclair Broadcast Group has had a change of heart when it comes to its TV measurement service -- it signed a new multi-year agreement with Nielsen.
The new deal with Nielsen includes measurement for Sinclair’s local stations, digital broadcast networks and national unwired network. Another big part of the Nielsen deal will be supporting Sinclair’s effort to transition to the new TV standard ATSC 3.0
Last year, in July, Sinclair intended to have comScore be its exclusive local TV ratings measurement service, according to one report.
Then, in October, at the NAB show in New York, Chris Ripley, CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group, confirmed the company would be switching to comScore from Nielsen for its audience ratings.
He reportedly said: “The reality is both systems have their flaws. It’s sort of a ‘pick your poison.’ At the end of the day, I believe both will be replaced by specific-device measurement, built into the ATSC 3.0 standard.”
Some analysts believed a shift away from Nielsen -- the longtime TV ratings measurer -- would be a significant move for local TV advertising. Sinclair is the largest owner of U.S. TV stations. With its expected $3.9 billion deal with Tribune Media, Sinclair will own 233 TV stations in 108 markets.
In response to the new deal with Nielsen, Steve Marks, executive vice president/CEO of Sinclair, told Television News Daily: “We are a client of comScore. Our agreement with Nielsen does not affect the comScore agreement. We have been utilizing both services in 2017 and to date in 2018.”
Financial terms of the deal with Nielsen were not disclosed.