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While the TV world waits
on a new metric beyond traditional ratings, cable operators and their partners are mining set-top box data for richer pictures of consumers' TV desires.
A number of logistic, cost and privacy issues will stand in the way of collecting the clicks from millions of cable, satellite and telco TV households, and turning them into a credible source for setting ad rates. "I used to say all the time that set-top box data will be the raw material for measuring TV viewing in my lifetime," said Bob Ivins, Comcast Spotlight's vice president of data products and research. "I've dropped the 'in my lifetime' part."
But the industry is finding a growing number of uses for set-top data, most notably as a supplemental ad-sales tool to demonstrate a spot's effectiveness. …