Nielsen’s recently announced deal to glean audience data from DISH Network will give advertisers a more granular look at who’s watching television programs—particularly lower-rated shows—and who is being exposed to commercials, according to Nielsen President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Hasker.

Nielsen is getting return path data from some 13 million households that are DISH subscribers and is incorporating it into the ratings giant’s national and local TV ratings, Hasker explains during the annual PeopleFront event by Simulmedia. It will greatly augment the TV viewing intelligence that Nielsen obtains via its household panels.

“When the ratings are based on panels, they are very representative and very accurate but not as granular, particularly in a deeply fragmented audience environment,” Hasker says. “For lower-rated programs and for more fragmented TV audiences, this is a deeper dive into the ratings, the reach, the audiences that are seeing those programs and the ads within those programs.”

According to Hasker, the deal brings together quality representative, in-person recruited panels with “the very best big data sets.”

What is the benefit to DISH?

“It basically enables them to be more influential in the overall advertising media ecosystem,” Hasker says.

He calls the PeopleFront event “One of the most, if not the most, interesting dialogues I’ve been a part of and had the chance to listen to for a long time.”

We interviewed him in New York at the Simulmedia PeopleFront conference where he was a speaker. Please find more video interviews from the PeopleFront event right here.

Simulmedia's PeopleFront 2016