February 16, 2021

Ratings Delays Due to Presidents Day Holiday

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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The Presidents Day holiday will cause delays for national television ratings (live+same day cable and broadcast) for several days.  As a rule of thumb, national holidays that close banks, stock markets or post offices also impact Nielsen ratings (MLK Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s). After this delay, we will enter the longest period of the year between holiday delay weeks (mid-February through early June), a few weeks longer than the period between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

This is how the ratings should roll out the next week or so. We will update this schedule if anything changes.  (All times Pacific.)

  • Friday Feb 12 nationals available Tuesday Feb 16 by 2 pm
  • Saturday Feb 13 nationals available Wednesday Feb 17 by 8 am
  • Sunday Feb 14 nationals available Wednesday Feb 17 by 8 am
  • Monday Feb 15 nationals available Wednesday Feb 17 by 2 pm
  • Tuesday Feb 16 nationals available Thursday Feb 18 by 8 am
  • Wednesday Feb 17 nationals available Friday Feb 19 by 8 am
  • Thursday Feb 18 nationals available Monday Feb 22 by 8 am

The schedule will return to normal with the release of Friday Feb 19 cable and broadcast nationals by 2 pm Monday Feb 22.

As usual, the “fast affiliate nationals” will continue to be released each morning at 8 am for the previous night’s preliminary prime time ratings on the broadcast networks.


About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.


  1. Shan

    The real question is why aren’t federal holidays put on hold in the US until infections are under control? And another question is why these hoildays should have any effect on cable finals being available?

    • 69 Road Runner

      Why would telling some people in the workforce not going to work on Monday have any appreciable affect on the pandemic? And Nielsen workers not working on that federal holiday is exactly why the ratings are late!

      • Shan

        You idiot, whenever people have time off they will be more likely to travel and cause a greater risk community spread. And if Nielsen can still release fast nationals there is absolutely no reason they can’t release cable finals on time.

        • 69 Road Runner

          You call me an idiot, but you can’t comprehend that crunching the viewership info requires IT people working to run the queries and whatnot (extra massaging of the figures to remove spurious data) to produce the final results? The fast nationals evidently don’t require as much data handling.

          If you don’t like the delays, well then try getting your TV ratings from somebody other than Nielsen!!

          • Shan

            You are an idiot in not knowing how holidays can affect spread and also for not realizing Nielsen is an unregulated monopoly that doesn’t have to change how they do things and keep to the same tired and old inefficient practices as well as an aging small sample base.

          • 69 Road Runner

            Yes, we’re all waiting for that huge COVID spike from all those the government and bank workers going on lavish Presidents’ Day vacations on Monday. LOL!

  2. Ascot23

    It’s all computerized.. they have the numbers in seconds.

  3. Raiderguy

    It’s amazing how a delay of ratings that would normally come out by 2PM are delayed to 8AM the next morning is enough of a delay to cause this much outrage. The littlest change in a lemmings life causes absolute chaos!

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