Rentrak says that it has been able to compile data on TV viewing in New York City during Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29 and will distribute ratings through the month of November.
Nielsen has said that due to power outages among its sample households, it will not be providing ratings information for the nation's largest TV market during November.
According to Rentrak, which generates its second-by-second viewership numbers from set-top boxes in about 90,000 homes in the New York area, says that on Monday Oct. 29, as the storm approached, TV viewing went up. As the storm hit, and homes began losing power, viewership fell.
"Rentrak's 'big data' approach means that we can continue to report and avoid going black, even in areas hit by extreme weather - and our dependability is a huge differentiator for our clients," Bruce Goerlich, chief research officer of Rentrak said in a statement. "Rentrak is able to report all markets before, after and during the storm, allowing TV Essentials clients to stay informed in November."
Not having Nielsen ratings data will make it tricky for local stations and the networks to figure out advertising delivery during the storm and its aftermath.
Rentrak has been getting more ratings business with TV stations in the last few years, challenging Nielsen in local measurement.