The deal calls for Hearst to use a range of new Nielsen software and data tools in its selling its wares to local advertisers. The pact covers Hearst’s 30 TV stations in 26 markets and two Baltimore radio stations.
The Hearst renewal is significant for Nielsen in the wake of CBS’ threat to drop the ratings provider as its year-end contract expiration approaches. The major networks have long been frustrated with Nielsen’s struggles to keep pace with measurement needs in the multiplatform universe. Nielsen ratings, while still the industry standard currency for advertising deals, are becoming less central to the ad sales business as data options proliferate in the digital age.
“Nielsen is an important partner in our television and radio station business,” said Eric Meyrowitz, senior VP of sales for Hearst Television. “We look forward to utilizing Nielsen’s audience measurement solutions and measurement enhancements to showcase the value of our audiences and deliver increased ROI to our advertisers.”
Nielsen said it was eager to work with Hearst to develop new measurement tools.
“Hearst Television is one of the most innovative broadcasters in the industry and is at the forefront of providing advertisers access to viewers across traditional and digital platforms,” said Jeff Wender, managing director of Nielsen Local Media. “We are thrilled to reach this agreement with Hearst Television and to collaborate on the best ways to monetize their highly desirable audiences.”