Nielsen Tests Syncbak’s Mobile TV System

Technical Trial Involving Four CBS Stations in New York and Los Angeles Deemed a Success 6/04/2013 2:21 PM Eastern

Nielsen and Syncbak said they have successfully completed a two-week technical trial designed to capture and measure live TV viewing on mobile devices that utilize Syncbak’s delivery platform.

They conducted a tablet and measurement test with four CBS-owned TV stations in New York and Los Angeles: WCBS, WLNY, KCBS, and KCAL. CBS announced a strategic investment in Syncbak earlier this year. The trials come into play as CBS and other major broadcasters engage with Aereo in a legal battle centered on Aereo's broadband TV/cloud DVR service.

The test “verified that broadcasters can obtain measureable online and mobile viewing using Syncbak technology,” the companies said, noting that Nielsen successfully captured all viewing in the test markets.

Working in tandem with TV partners, Syncbak’s platform replicates over-the-air broadcasts and delivers those simulcasts over the Internet and via cellular networks to select Android devices and Apple iPads and iPhones. It does this using a specialized device deployed at the station that intercepts the signal before transcoding and packaging those streams for delivery.

Following a recent deal with Grey Television, Syncbak said it now has nearly 200 TV stations on board. Syncbak founder and CEO Jack Perry told Multichannel News in April that the company is shooting for deployments by 500 stations by the end of 2013.

“This test was an important step in our commitment to fully measuring television content on mobile and tablet platforms,” said Farshad Family, SVP of local media product leadership at Nielsen, in a statement.  “When it comes to mobile streaming Syncbak is an increasingly important player so we are pleased to demonstrate to the industry that we can count and incorporate their viewing and add it to the existing television metrics.”

“With the success of this trial we now know we can obtain measureable credit for the in-market mobile viewing of our content and do so in a way that is monetizable,” added CBS chief research office David Poltrack.

Dyle, another venture that also has backing from several major broadcasters, is taking a different approach to delivering mobile broadcast TV signals. Instead of sending TV over the Internet, Dyle uses a slice of the traditional broadcast spectrum to deliver encrypted signals over-the-air to devices outfitted with the Dyle app and specialized antennas.