LAS VEGAS — It is the smaller part of the otherwise-massive US TV advertising business – but local TV operators should ready themselves to gobble up spending from their national peers, if comScore’s Steve Walsh has his way.

The media measurement firm’s local TV EVP says local TV has suffered from absent and spotty data that would show increasing overall consumption across devices. Now he sees better times.

“Local is a $22bn industry,” Walsh tells Beet.TV in this video interview, “and it’s only going to get larger as a result of two things:

  1. “Dollars far moving from national in to local, because people are looking at hyper-targeting, both geographically and behaviourally.”
  2. “Local is going to be now a cross-platform environment. Local has been under-measured for decades, frankly.”

Walsh says comScore’s 100 million-person US panel is going to be merged with a tagged approach to measurement so that TV operators can count viewers, even if they are watching from out-of-market using a digital device.

comScore merged last year with TV measurement firm Rentrak to bring the universes together.

“There’s been a lot of missed dollars locally,” Walsh adds. “We’re going to be able to report on a TV station’s total audience across all platforms.”

That may shine a light on local TV viewing that, Walsh says, is healthier than sceptical reports make out.

“People talk about TV viewing going down – nothing could be further form the truth,” he concludes. “TV viewing is going up. It’s just not being measured completely.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the 2017 NAB Show in Las Vegas.   The series is sponsored by Ooyala.  For more coverage of NAB, please visit this page.