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Nielsen Will Use Set-Top Data in Local TV Ratings

Nielsen has announced a new incorporation of set-top box data from about 100,000 households using DirecTV into local television ratings. The company will work with Kantar Media to implement the new technology going forward, but no official timetable has been announced.

Nielsen tested the new method of obtaining data last summer in three markets: St. Louis, Greenville, SC and Reno. The results of the test showed the set-top data eliminated between 50 and 90 percent of ratings variability in markets that generally depend on diary ratings.

The new measurements will be implemented as part of a multiyear deal with Kantar Media, which provides live and time-shifted information with second-by-second commercial ratings from DirecTV households across the country.

“DirectView is one of many sources of data Nielsen is incorporating in our efforts to provide higher-quality local TV audience measurement,” Steve Hasker, president of Nielsen Media Products & Advertiser Solutions, said in a statement. “Our innovative approach to enhance local TV measurement addresses the technological limitations of using set-top box data alone, and we expect it will provide valuable benefits to local TV markets.”

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