Rentrak Signs WFAA

Rentrak, a several research firm providing household TV data based on set-top-box data, has broken into its first top 10 market, announcing Wednesday (June 9) a contract with WFAA, Belo’s ABC affiliate in the Dallas-Fort Worth market.

WFAA, a Nielsen client, signed for Rentrak’s StationView Essentials service to test set-top-box audience measurement, a hot topic in the TV research business.

“Without question there has been an explosion in measurement technology,” said Mike Devlin, president and general manager of WFAA. “It just makes good sense to explore new tools of measurement as we strive for the most accurate picture of ratings in the marketplace, as well as the most meaningful data for our clients.”

A handful of TV groups and stations, mostly in smaller and mid-size markets, have signed with Rentrak. Though Rentrak’s daily TV service lacks demographic data necessary for a ratings currency, stations are drawn to larger samples, second-by-second data, and more affordable cost.

Rentrak’s local service, launched in December, is based on set-top-box data from DISH Network’s 15 million subscribers and AT&T U-Verse’s 2 million.