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Nielsen Signs Gannett

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Even as the advertising and TV community explore new alternatives to traditional ratings, the business of buying and selling TV commercials still runs on Nielsen ratings. The research giant announced Tuesday (May 18) it had signed a multi-year agreement with Gannett, one of the largest TV groups reaching 21 million TV households.

The agreement covers local TV ratings, overnights, custom applications and software for all of Gannett's 23 stations in 19 markets.

The timing of Nielsen's announcement comes the day after Rentrak, an upstart research firm making some headway with its set-top-box based audience data based on AT&T U-Verse and DISH subscribers, announced it had signed Gannett to its StationView Essentials service.

Though stations have shown interest in Rentrak's larger samples and second-by-second data, it falls short as a currency, lacking demographic estimates and other reporting, as well as sampling features used in syndicated research.

"We are pleased to continue our relationship with Nielsen for television audience measurement," said Dave Lougee, president of Gannett Broadcasting. "This renewal will help ensure that we have a successful and healthy association for years to come."