Fox-Owned Stations Tap Rentrak For Alternate TV Ratings

TV stations owned by 21st Century Fox will soon have more data with which to judge the performance of their programs.

Rentrak, a media-measurement company that tries  to marry demographic information with consumer-purchase behavior, said it had entered into a “long-term agreement” with Fox Television Stations to provide local television measurement service. Fox represents 28 stations across 18 markets from New York City to Ocala-Gainesville, Fla.

Fox expects the deal to  “accelerate the long overdue progress toward an accurate digital measuring system in local TV, one based on a census, not estimates, and one that measures all screens,” said Jack Abernethy, chief executive of Fox Television Stations, ina prepared statement.

CBS earlier this year struck a similar pact with Rentrak, becoming the first broadcast network to make use of Rentrak’s audience-measurement data.

The pacts come as more media companies cast about for new ways to measure audience that does not watch TV programming in traditional fashion. While Nielsen data remains the bedrock of the industry, several media outlets have expressed frustration with the inability to describe to advertisers the ways in which viewers use tablets and other new forms of video streaming to watch the TV programs they distribute.

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