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Why Aren’t ComScore’s TV Ratings Public Yet?

We’re all still waiting for a second currency that hasn’t arrived — TheWrap finds out what’s taking so long

The new comScore has emerged as the closest competitor to TV ratings giant Nielsen — all that’s missing are its TV ratings.

So what’s going on? Why are the press and public STILL not getting the Rentrak owner’s data? It’s coming, TheWrap is told (again) — but not until the fourth-quarter of this year. That’ll mark more than a year since comScore and Rentrak first struck a merger deal.

Right now, it’s a contract and clearance issue, a company spokesperson told us. For starters, since comScore gathers data from operators, they don’t technically own it. You can’t really give away what you don’t own.

The spokesperson told TheWrap, “ComScore’s television ratings data has always been proprietary information for clients.”

And comScore prefers to let those clients share that information themselves, though in our experience that’s not a common practice.

What’s up with that? One broadcast insider opined to us that networks are probably in “no rush” to start putting out numbers from an “emerging source” — at least not until comScore becomes more established.

Perhaps we wouldn’t even find a use for them at this point, anyway.

After all, the company also doesn’t do much with overnight ratings, something important to the public and press due to their relative immediacy. Instead, there’s usually a two-week lag built into comScore TV data, though the company can grant exceptions for specific client requests, a spokesperson told us. In other words, we probably wouldn’t even want the numbers at this point.

Currently, much like Nielsen, the relative monopoly that comScore is chasing, the Bill Livek-led company is using all of its resources to produce and polish repeatable cross-platform ratings.

“As we move towards delivering cross-platform ratings, we plan to make more of our television ratings data public,” the spokesperson added.

That’s where the future — and the money — is. Until then, we’ll definitely continue to use Nielsen. And depending on how the industry adopts each potential all-in currency, perhaps even beyond.