Fox enlists Comscore to help target local TV ads

Fox is adding Comscore’s advertising currency to its local-ads toolkit, giving Fox’s owned and operated TV stations more metrics to identify audiences and match them with ads.

Comscore announced this deal Monday, saying the increasing size of its local TV measurement system’s datasets led Fox to start accepting its ad currency.

The Reston, Va., audience-measurement firm’s press release quoted Tom Fleming, SVP of station sales at Fox Television Stations, as crediting Comscore for boosting the number of reportable households in Fox markets to 13.6 million homes over the last six years, an 84% bump.

“By partnering with Comscore for local TV measurement, FTS can now use significantly larger data sets and even more precision to ensure that linear advertisers are strategically paired with their consumers,” Fleming said in the announcement.

“Because local television audiences have more choices than ever, measurement must evolve to include larger data sets,” Chad Roscher, VP for research at Fox Television Stations, said in the release.

This deal follows a recent string of media companies announcing that they would add or explore adding Comscore’s ad currency as an alternative to Nielsen metrics that have fallen out of grace over concerns over their accuracy.

In January, for example, WarnerMedia named Comscore as one possible post-Nielsen measurement partner. In April, Comcast’s Effectv ad-sales division said it would use Comscore’s local audience data with clients, while Xandr revealed a new multi-currency framework for linear ads that includes Comscore data as an option. And in June, the privately-held media-services firm Horizon Media said it would test the "rigor, stability and viability" of Comscore’s local audience data.

On its second-quarter earnings call, Comscore executives touted local audience measurement as a promising route for growth, with CEO Jon Carpenter calling that sector “a near-term opportunity for us in a place we expect to win.”