America’s Largest Owner of TV Stations Strikes New Multi-Year Measurement Partnership with Nielsen

By A.J. Katz 

Texas-based Nexstar Media Group bought Tribune on Dec. 3, 2018 for $6.4 billion, including debt, making it the largest owner of local TV stations in the country. The company now wants to learn more about who is watching all of the company’s 197 local stations, and its new national cable network WGN America.

It only makes sense, then, that Nexstar enter into a new multi-year measurement services agreement with media measurement juggernaut Nielsen.

Under the terms of this new deal, Nielsen will continue to provide stations with data on product consumption habits, demographics and lifestyles of its consumers across all platforms—broadcast and digital.


“Nexstar Media Group is a true leader in the broadcast industry with a long, proven record of driving revenue and profits for advertisers,” said Nielsen evp of media Peter Bradbury. “Our alliance with Nexstar will leverage Nielsen’s unique suite of measurement services to establish a cross-platform currency that will provide audience insights across local linear TV, cable, mobile, desktop and over-the-top.”

“Nexstar’s company-wide relationship with Nielsen will allow our promotion, news and advertising sales teams to benefit from Nielsen’s full suite of audience ratings and combined audience data across all platforms in all Nexstar markets,” added Nexstar Broadcasting president Timothy Busch. “Nielsen’s ability to provide unified audience measurement across the entire 115 market Nexstar U.S. television household footprint will further support our company-wide commitment to best serve local and national advertising clients, with verified viewing and consumption data.”

In October, Nielsen announced it did an overhaul of its ratings measurement system, which includes more advanced meter technology to measure TV viewership across 208 markets.

Prior to the Tribune acquisition, Nexstar had previously owned stations in mid and small-sized DMAs, but the Tribune deal have given Nexstar a presence in roughly 63% of TV homes. The deal has also gave the company a presence in America’s 3 largest markets for the first time: New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.