Gray Signs for Rentrak in Kansas

Gray Communications has signed with Rentrak for the research firm’s local set-top-box-based ratings service in Wichita and Topeka, Kansas. With the deal, announced Monday (July 12), Rentrak has four subscribers in Wichita and a total of 36 stations in 18 local markets.

Both KAKE, Gray’s ABC affiliate in Wichita and WIBW, its CBS affiliate in Topeka will have access to Rentrak’s StationView Essentials, which provide second-by-second household viewing data.

Rentrak bases its local service, launched last December, on set-top-box data from DISH Network’s 15 million subscribers and AT&T U-Verse’s 2 million. The researcher recently struck a deal with Experian Simmons to combine its viewing data with consumer product purchase, lifestyle and life stage data.

Even though TV stations are primarily using the Rentrak data as a supplement to Nielsen TV ratings, Nielsen recently refocused and reorganized its set-top-box initiatives and announced last week it would begin a test to integrate STB data into local market ratings in three markets, St. Louis, Greenville/Spartanburg and Reno.