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Comcast to sell customer viewing data to third party measurement company

For the first time, Comcast has reached an agreement to sell the viewing data of its pay TV customers to a separate company who will integrate that data into its local and national measurement services.

On Thursday, analytics company Comscore announced it had reached an agreement with Comcast to collect and analyze viewer data collected from the set-top boxes of the media giant’s cable television customers. The deal does not appear to extend to other Comcast products like the company’s Internet service.

In a statement, Comscore executive Bill Livek called the deal a “game-changing moment in the history of television measurement.”

“Comscore’s partnership with Comcast is a significant step in our transformation of television measurement, as we have built the largest viewing dataset of second-by-second viewership data that is aggregated across all premium video providers from the device, to the household, to zip, to the market and to the nation,” Livek said.

Before the deal, Comcast had not previously disclosed viewing data habits of cable TV customers outside the company, thought it has used some of that data to sell hyperlocal ads across its various cable TV offerings, including the Xfinity X1 platform.

Comscore already has agreements with a number of other media companies, including BuzzFeed and CBS, to measure viewer habits across different legacy and digital platforms.  The company said additional data it expects to receive from Comcast will help it better monitor and predict the viewing habits of TV customers, which could help advertisers reach more-granular demographics.

Comscore said it expects to fully integrate its data-sharing agreement with Comcast by the end of the year.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).