While lots and lots (and lots) of stations and station groups have been signing up for Rentrak ratings, very few, particularly in the large markets, do so at the expense of Nielsen. While the complaints about Nielsen go on for a bit, usually centered around cost and accuracy, Nielsen remains the currency by which TV time is bought and sold among agencies. Rentrak ratings are additive, say general managers frequently.
Of course, Nexstar did away with Nielsen some time ago, though its markets are typically mid-size. KYTV in Springfield and WINK Ft. Myers are larger market stations that have dropped Nielsen in recent years; notably, I've been told that Rentrak is the ratings of record in Springfield, which is DMA No. 75. KSNV Las Vegas too made the break, but got back with Nielsen within two years.
MediaPost reported that Fox Television Stations, fresh off a new deal with Rentrak, may be willing to cut the Nielsen cord, reports our old friend (and former contributor) Joe Mandese.
If Nielsen fails to come to terms with Fox by the end of today (June 30), it would be the first time since Arbitron operated a competing local TV ratings service that a network-owned stations group agreed to do business exclusively with a ratings provider other than Nielsen. Arbitron left the local TV ratings business in the fall of 1993, and was acquired by Nielsen last year and now operates under its Nielsen Audio banner.
UPDATE: Nielsen and FTS reached "a mutually beneficial resolution to continue their longstanding relationship" around 5 p.m. Monday.