TV NewsCheck: Gray Televison Dropping Nielsen For Comscore (includes WVLT & WBXX, Knoxville)

In an email to media agencies obtained by TVNewsCheck, Gray VP of National Sales Becky Meyer says it will allow its current contract with Nielsen to expire on Dec. 31 because “it does not have sufficient confidence in the new methodology.”

Gray Television says it is dropping Nielsen at the end of the year and will rely on Nielsen rival Comscore for tracking viewership of its stations.  

It has been a good-news, bad-news day for Nielsen. It started with ratings service’s announcement that it had renewed its contract with Hearst Television, but that news was overshadowed by reports that CBS was considering dropping it.

And, now, in an email to media agencies obtained by TVNewsCheck, Gray VP of National Sales Becky Meyer says it will allow its current contract with Nielsen to expire on Dec. 31 because “it does not have sufficient confidence in the new methodology.”

“Meanwhile, through our use of Comscore systems in about two dozen markets over the past few years, we have seen data that appears to reflect more accurately consumer viewership of those stations across multiple platforms.”

Nielsen has been working hard for the past several years in eliminating the much-maligned paper diaries for tracking local TV viewing and replacing them with various electronic methods.

Asked for comment on the loss of Gray, Jeff Wender, managing director, Nielsen local, did not directly address it. “We have implemented a series of enhancements over the past year including retiring diaries and launching a local cross-platform planning solution to make the process of buying local tv and radio more efficient. We continue to work closely with our clients across all local markets nationwide to ensure our measurement meets their needs and allows them to transact with confidence.”

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