Rentrak Expands Dish Deal To Track TV Viewers

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Rentrak reached a deal with Dish Network to commercially integrate data from the satellite operator's set-top boxes into the TV Essentials audience measurement service, bringing its sample size to more than 15 million satellite, cable and telco set-tops nationwide.

With the bigger data set, Rentrak now claims it is the only company to offer media measurement in all 210 TV markets. Previously, Rentrak said, the TV Essentials commercialized service included set-top data from Charter Communications' Los Angeles division and AT&T's U-verse TV.

"Rentrak's TV Essentials product, fueled by Dish Network's comprehensive set-top box data, is the most meaningful and credible viewer measurement offering, and will positively influence the future of television and advanced advertising," Michael Kelly, executive vice president of Dish Network direct, commercial and advertising sales, said in a statement.

Terms of the expanded deal between Dish and Rentrak were not disclosed. The two companies announced a partnership in November 2008, under which Rentrak provided measurement of linear, DVR and interactive TV usage to the satellite operator.

"With the addition of Dish Network to TV Essentials' databases, Rentrak has fulfilled its vision of providing a national footprint as a foundation to overlay advertisers' definition of their customers to detailed TV viewing from digital set devices," Rentrak CEO Bill Livek said.

The Rentrak TV Essentials service lets customers analyze anonymous audience viewing of programming and advertising across video on demand, DVR, interactive and linear television. The system can isolate individual market, network, series or telecast performance; administer national and local estimates; and provide an evaluation of influencing factors such as psychographics and demographics.

Separately, Portland, Ore.-based Rentrak provides On-Demand Essentials, which compiles daily video-on-demand usage data representing more than 70 million set top boxes through deals with 37 operators.

Other companies that provide aggregated set-top data include Nielsen; TiVo; TRA Data; and Kantar Media (formerly TNS Media), which has a deal to collect DirecTV set-top data.

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