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Nexstar picks Comscore for audience measurement

The deal involves Nexstar's local TV business, CW Network, The Hill website, NewsNation cable channel and other properties.

The deal involves Nexstar's local TV business, CW Network, The Hill website, NewsNation cable channel and other properties.

Comscore has inked a mutil-year deal with broadcaster Nexstar Media Group to provide currency-grade measurement metrics across its various platforms, the companies said on Tuesday.

The deal will bring Comscore’s audience measurement tools to around 200 Nexstar-owned or operated local television stations across the country, as well as their associated digital websites. The tools will also measure viewers and impressions at Nexstar’s CW Network, NewsNation cable channel, The Hill political website and other properties.

Comscore and Nexstar have worked together since at least 2010, the companies said. Since then, Comscore has evolved its audience measurement tools to include coverage of connected TV, social media and other digital-fist platforms.

“Together, Comscore and Nexstar will be able to deliver more precise audience insights across screens to help advertisers optimize total reach and measure the holistic cross-platform campaign with de-duplicated in-flight monitoring of key metrics such as reach and frequency, incrementality, and co-viewing,” a Comscore spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday.

Comscore also says it can provide Nexstar with granular audience measurement tools across 41,704 individual ZIP codes that reach all 210 local television markets. Nexstar is the largest independent operator of broadcast TV stations in the country.

Comscore is proud to expand its relationship with Nexstar Media Group to empower Nexstar’s advertisers to unlock optimal reach across key markets and platforms,” Jon Carpenter, the CEO of Comscore, said in a statement. “Nexstar will offer unmatched value to advertisers in a critical election year and beyond, by seamlessly validating its true audience reach with market level precision down to the specific region across linear and digital.”

Carpenter said the Comscore-Nexstar partnership “demonstrates our ability to eliminate costly ‘make goods’ as Nexstar leverages the strengths of Comscore’s cross-platform solutions to ensure ad dollars are optimized across non-linear mediums to complete incremental reach to what is achieved by linear television.”

Nexstar seems equally excited about the opportunity.

““Comscore’s ability to provide us with total audience measurement metrics across our local television stations and websites, NewsNation, the CW Network, and The Hill, enables our cross-platform sales team to leverage our unique scale and reach to customize bespoke advertising and marketing solutions for our clients,” Michael Biard, Nexstar’s Chief Operating Officer, said on Tuesday. “We look forward to offering our advertisers deeper insight into who is watching and interacting with our programming and when they are doing so, enabling them to focus on the audiences they want to reach.”

Comscore began prioritizing local TV relationships about two years ago, after Carpenter identified opportunities to present its suite of measurement tools as an alternative currency to broadcasters who have grown increasingly disenfranchised with data offered up by Nielsen.

Broadcasters have colored Nielsen’s measurement tools as off the mark, saying they don’t accurately measure audience impressions and reach in the era of connected TV. Horizon Media, one of the world’s largest media services agency, said in 2022 it would work with key industry stakeholders like Paramount Global and Comcast to search for alternative currencies and was tapping Comscore to provide local television measurement tools for ad planning and buying.

Carpenter saw more than just an opportunity to help the industry break away from its reliance on Nielsen: He also saw dollar signs, a way to boost Comscore’s position in the industry of Big Data beyond its core online measurement tools.

“Our estimates are that the leading player in local measurement is somewhere between $400 million and $500 million in local measurement revenue today,” Carpenter said during an August 2022 conference call with investors, indirectly referencing Nielsen. He continued: “Comscore has about 10 percent of that amount — the gap between our 10 percent and that $400 million to $500 million is significant in a near-term opportunity for us in a place we expect to win.”

Since then, Comscore has won over or expanded its relationship with several key television clients, including Roku, Fox Corporation and Warner Bros Discovery.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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