Sinclair Jumps Into Rentrak's Local TV Viewing Pool

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Sinclair Broadcast Group will test Rentrak's local TV measurement service based on set-top box data -- which is challenging Nielsen's panel-based data for local advertising -- in four markets with seven stations.

Sinclair will use Rentrak's StationView Essentials service to measure local station performance via set-top-box data for WSYX (ABC) and WTTE (Fox) in Columbus, Ohio; WCGV (MNT) and WVTV (CW) in Milwaukee; KABB (Fox) and KMYS (MNT) in San Antonio, Texas; and KDNL (ABC) in St. Louis. Sinclair owns, operates or provides sales services to 58 TV stations in 35 U.S. markets.

Under the terms of the agreement, to begin Jan. 1, 2010, Sinclair and Rentrak will work with advertisers and their agencies to combine direct marketing tactics with the StationView Essentials database of household viewing data.

The deal includes a long-term expansion option for all of Sinclair's markets. Outputs will include analytics of total television consumption, and advertising buys based on engagement metrics derived through the StationView Essentials service.

"Rentrak's ability to measure highly granular viewing patterns, capture information and mold it into actionable knowledge made it an easy decision to team up to be a part of the trial," Steve Marks, chief operating officer of Sinclair's television group said in a statement.

Last week,Rentrak announced a multiyear deal with Wichita, Kan.-based Sunflower Broadcasting to use the StationView Essentials for three of its stations.

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