Sinclair to Exclusively Use comScore For Local TV Ratings

By A.J. Katz 

Sinclair Broadcast Group has informed advertisers and media buying agencies that it will exclusively utilize comScore for its local TV ratings, beginning in 2018.

“We understand that there are choices in local broadcast measurement, and Sinclair will continue to work with our clients to ensure their buys meet expectations,” Sinclair executive vice president and chief operating officer Steve Marks said in a letter obtained by TV News Check.

This is a coup for comScore, the cross-platform measurement company which acquired Rentrak in February 2016 for $768 million. Sinclair is one of the largest local broadcast groups in the country and recently went through an acquisition as well, entering into a $3.9 billion agreement to acquire Tribune Media to create a local TV titan. When the deal closes, the Baltimore-based company will own, operate and/or provide services to 233 stations in 108 markets, would reach more than 70 percent of American households.

Sinclair would also control the cable channel WGN America, which some speculate could turn into a conservative-leaning news network.

A Nielsen spokesperson provided TVSpy with the following statement:

“Our corporate policy prohibits us from discussing any client contracts or any ongoing negotiations. Sinclair is a longstanding and valued client, and we look forward to releasing our enhanced local measurement solution which will deliver best in class measurement and quality that all of our clients expect and rely on.”

Nielsen has had a stranglehold on local and national TV, digital and mobile data insights for decades. Will other station groups follow Sinclair’s lead and partner with comScore?