It is generally recognized that severe video distortions that are transient in space and/or time have a large effect on overall perceived video quality. In order to understand this phenomena, we study the distribution of spatio-temporally local quality scores obtained from several video quality assessment (VQA) algorithms on videos suffering from compression and lossy transmission over communication channels. We propose a content adaptive spatial and temporal pooling strategy based on the observed distribution. Our method adaptively emphasizes “worst” scores along both the spatial and temporal dimensions of a video sequence and also considers the perceptual effect of large-area cohesive motion flow such as egomotion. We demonstrate the efficacy of the method by testing it using three different VQA algorithms on the LIVE Video Quality database and the EPFL-PoliMI video quality database.