Why Local Cable?

The Power of Premium Multi-Screen Video in Local Markets

Local Cable provides marketers infinite advertising opportunities across branded premium cable networks in every market in the U.S.

Whether you customer lives around the corner or across the country, Local Cable advertising delivers results by utilizing geographic targeting, multi-screen solutions, data-driven advanced advertising and more.

Local Cable is the ultimate targeting tool to maximize exposure and grow your business.

Think Locally: Understanding Cable TV For The Local Marketplace

Local Planning

Getting ready to start planning and buying local Cable? Here we offer answers to frequently asked questions about local cable and provide an overview of the landscape; including DMA populations, a list of top Interconnects by market, a directory of MVPD contacts and promotional thought-starters.

Local FAQs

MVPD Directory

DMA Rankings

DMA Map of Measurement

Major Market

Local Promotional

Advanced Advertising Technology

Marketers are enhancing their television campaigns by embracing technology to reach and engage with their customers in the local market. Each MVPD has a distinct set of advanced advertising capabilities from one-to-one interactivity to video on demand.   This section provides an overview of various technologies available in the local marketplace.

Video On Demand*

VOD offers digital TV subscriber’s access to a library of premium, long form TV content. For marketers, VOD provides a quality environment where viewers have opt-ed in to view their favorite TV program.
Some VOD advertising opportunities include:

  • Long form product sponsored content
  • RFI & Telescoping technology
  • Ads utilizing Ad Tag/ Ad Copy for market specific messaging

Interested in learning more about Video On Demand?
Check out the VOD primer

Interactive Television (iTV)*

Interactive television, currently available in approximately 16 million homes, offers the ability to “turbocharge” a 30-second commercial by enabling the viewer the ability to engage and immediately react to the commercial message.

Prompts or ‘overlays’ are placed over the marketer’s linear spot which allow the viewer to “interact” with the ad through a push of the button on their remote control.  Advertisers can offer viewers the opportunity to request additional information, order a sample or watch a video about their product or service – all in real time.


In its simplest form, programmatic buying is the use of technology to automate processes from RFP to post-buy analysis and the use of math and algorithms to improve consumer targeting. Artificial intelligence (with varying degrees of human input) and “big data” is employed to inform targeting and optimization decisions and to secure advertising inventory for the opportunity to show a specific ad, to a specific consumer.

On a local basis, programmatic provides advertisers the ability to be extremely selective about where, when and to whom to show their ads.

Dynamic AD Insertion*

Dynamic ad insertion (DAI) allows ads to be inserted directly into VOD content. DAI provides marketers the ability to refresh ads that were previously ‘baked in’ to a VOD title at a moment’s notice. Marketers can switch out their ads to ensure viewers are seeing their most current offer or promotion.


Addressability allows advertisers to target consumers based on various traits such as demographics, psychographics and behavioral variables (such as product purchase history).

*Contact your MVPD to learn about the availability of this product


I+ is the one source for all local media advertising solutions, providing greater local ad reach and penetration against targeted consumers whether they are in cable, satellite or telco homes.

With Ad Supported cable representing the lion share of all TV viewers, the added reach of I+ is more important than ever for businesses that need to connect with consumers, regardless of the company they select for their television service (Comcast’s XFINITY, Verizon’s FiOS, AT&T U-verse® TV, and DISH’s).

Click here to learn more about I+

Source: NCC


Automotive is collectively one of the largest category spenders in TV and the growth in expenditures has outpaced the overall marketplace over the last few years. Automotive brands continue investing in TV for the simple fact that they know it works.

This section takes you through a likely vehicle buyer’s path to purchase and how TV drives online traffic.

Automotive Recap

Cruising Speed: A Luxury & Economy Buyers’ Car Manual

Shifting Gears: How TV Drives Online Traffic for Automotive

Start Your Engines: TV Accelerates Automotive Buyers’ Path to Purchase


With an estimated $4 billion ready to be spent on television during the 2016 election cycle, Political has become the hot category in local markets.

This section provides an overview of key dates on the political calendar, where the hotly contested races are expected to be and updated analyses on the television landscape.

Winning The
Undecided Voter

Early Polling Shows TV
Wins All

2016 “Hotly Contested” Elections

2016 Political Races Snapshot

Voter Attitudes Towards TV

Re-Count: A 2014 Election Overview Of The Local Broadcast Marketplace

Local Broadcast Late News Updated Analysis

Local Measurement

With the increase in viewer fragmentation, the accuracy of local measurement has come into question – especially in smaller markets. Ratings providers are starting to address this issue by actively taking steps to increase sample size and therefore reliability. This section provides an overview of the latest local measurement initiatives and technologies for the two largest currency providers: Nielsen and ComScore.

Nielsen Measurement
In 2017, Nielsen doubled the sample size in Top 44 Markets utilizing Portable People meter technology. Portable people meter is a passive meter which captures audio. Per Nielsen, with this sample expansion, there was a substantial decrease in quarter hours reported as zeros.

At the local level, Nielsen measures television audiences using the following methodologies dependent on market size:

Local people meters (LPM) are used in the Top 25 markets to electronically capture both tuning and viewing at the household and persons level.

Set meters are used in 31 markets to capture set tuning (what is being watched) continuously all year and reports at the household (HH) level. In January 2016, in an effort to increase sample size, improve stability and provide fewer zero ratings (a phenomenon that occurs when there is HH tuning according to the meter but no corresponding diary entries for the same channel and time), Nielsen replaced diary collection with “Viewer Assignment” modeling to collect demographic information.  See Viewer Assignment below to learn more.

Code Reader
Launched in January 2016, Code reader provides year round electronic measurement in 14 diary markets. Employing audio-based monitoring, Code readers measure HH tuning and utilize viewer assignment modeling for demographic information.

List of code reader markets

Diaries are currently used in 140 markets. Sent out four times a year during ‘sweep’ months (February, May, July, November) diaries are used to gather both viewing (who) and tuning (how many people). Since this is the least precise collection method, diaries have been known to significantly under-report demo audiences.  In markets where a diary has been swapped for a meter, local Cable audience has increased between 10-25% on average.

In earlier part of 2018, Nielsen plans to introduce full electronic measurement into its local ratings service across all 210 DMAs. The integration of Return Path Data from set-top boxes and other Nielsen electronic measurement assets will expand all-electronic measurement to 140 TV markets currently measured by paper TV diaries.

For checks and balances of return-path data from set-top boxes, Nielsen created a system called Common Homes which takes metered data from households that are part of Nielsen’s panels and then compares it with STB data from the same homes to see how closely the stats match up.  Third-party data from companies like Experian also gives Nielsen ways to check the accuracy on STB numbers.

Viewer Assignment Methodology
In January 2016, Nielsen began utilizing “viewer assignment” modeling to collect demo information. This modeling technique assigns which household member is watching a specific program by using demo probabilities.  Viewer assignment uses a donor-based matching process to choose who is viewing in a home by matching homes (informed by people meter panel homes) based on characteristic and behavioral similarity.

Additionally viewer assignment is being used to address “unidentified audience”. Unidentified Audience occurs when the TV is on but no one has checked in as a viewer. Today, approximately 3% of households are excluded from daily reporting due to incomplete persons data (e.g. unidentified audience). Rather than excluding this viewing information, Nielsen is using “viewer assignment” to complete the missing audience data with the hope of increasing persons intab rates.

Ratings Stabilization

Ratings stabilization is a statistical technique to help mitigate ratings fluctuations. With ratings stabilization, a weighted average of quarter hour ratings across the current and prior week is applied to household and demo ratings. Ratings stabilization is applied only if HUT (households using television) and household differences for quarter hour from week to week are not statistically significant. The goal is to deliver increased ratings stability and fewer zero quarter hours. Nielsen currently has this initiative on hold in local markets.

comScore Measurement
Local TV Measurement comScore passively and impartially collects second-by-second local market viewership information from tens of millions of set-top boxes; measuring viewing in all 210 U.S. local markets with data collected from more than 35 million homes* nationwide, from the ZIP code-level up. (*After full data provider partner integration in Q1 2018).

StationView Essentials provides detailed local TV ratings and competitive data from other local stations in the same market.

comScore Advanced Audiences™ combines massive scale comScore TV viewing information with data to go beyond age/gender to find and reach high-value audiences based on behaviors, interests and lifestyles.

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