March 16, 2017

Ratings Delays Continue (Update #8)

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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  • SumoMe


Ratings continue to be unavailable from Nielsen.  The last release of data was on Monday afternoon (on time) with the official live+same day nationals for Friday 3.10.2017 (broadcast and cable).  Fast nationals and official nationals for Saturday and Sunday 3.11-12.2017 are now past due with no rescheduled release times in sight.  And now fast nationals for Monday 3.13.2017 have missed their release time.

Nielsen reportedly suffer a power outage at a data center over the weekend during a major system upgrade.  No further details are available at this time.

Check back later for any updates on the resumption of television ratings.

Tuesday 1 pm PT update: Monday cable and broadcast nationals have been added to the list of delays.  Nothing new to report. No updates on expected times for Saturday, Sunday and Monday ratings.

Tuesday 1:30 pm PT update: Possible release of some data revised delivery schedule at 4 pm PT / 7 pm ET today.

Tuesday 4:45 pm PT: Revised data release schedule has not been released.

Tuesday 10 pm PT: Saturday 3.11.2017 nationals (cable and broadcast) to be released around 7 am PT Wednesday. Release times for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday ratings to be announced later on Wednesday.

Wednesday 8 am PT: Saturday 3.11.2017 cable nationals have been released.  Still waiting on Saturday broadcast nationals as well as a revised release schedule for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday 3 pm PT: Thursday morning we are expecting a revised ratings release schedule for: Saturday broadcast nationals and Sunday through Tuesday cable and broadcast nationals (as well as fast nationals).  The new schedule could come as early as 7 am PT.

Thursday 9 am PT: Saturday and Sunday broadcast and cable nationals are now posted. Awaiting a revised schedule for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday fast nationals and official nationals.

Thursday 2 pm PT: Monday and Tuesday ratings are now posted. Wednesday fast nationals might be in later tonight.  Wednesday cable and broadcast nationals should be up early Friday morning.  The long national nightmare appears to be ending.


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. Destiny

    RIP Sunday ratings.

  2. D.

    I’m more concerned with how Samurai Jack and the rest of Toonami and Adult Swim’s originals did scattered throughout Saturday night!

  3. Marius

    Power outage during upgrade is the worst case scenario..

  4. Amaury

    How does a DST change cause so much chaos!

  5. nbtx

    I don’t know how numbers for these past days can no longer ever be posted with any confidence in their veracity. Nielsen needs to develop a new method of determining audience size and demographics. Oh, also, a back updata center, mirror site — amazing that they didn’t have one.

    • Destiny

      The Nielsen system is fine.

      • Amaury

        That’s good to know, at least. (You must be an expert. c:) Now it’s just a matter of waiting patiently. I’m eager to know how Henry Danger, being the lead-in to the KCAs, and the KCAs themselves did on Saturday. If I had to take a guess for Henry Danger, I’d say at least what “Hour of Power” received, if not more, which was 0.58 million for 18-49 and 3.16 million for total viewers: I’m also eager to know how Hunter Street, Nickelodeon’s new series, did yesterday with its first two episodes.

      • CMM

        nbtx, like many, are referring to the number of alternatives to viewing shows we now have. The Nielsen system, in and of itself, may be “fine”, but there are those who consider it outdated and think they need to factor in the alternatives.

        Unless I am missing them, it would be nice to have this site post DVR numbers, On Demand numbers, network website numbers, Hulu streaming numbers, etc.

        Not many like, or want, commercials. Who doesn’t mute, fast forward, flip channels, occupy themselves otherwise, and/or ignore them when they can? Not to mention who waits for DVD releases or Netflix to watch now?

        • Destiny

          Those who consider it to be outdated wouldn’t be calling it outdated if the show they like wasn’t flopping in the live ratings.

          Statistical sampling at its finest.

          • CMM

            You, yourself, posted a short while back that you wondered why Nielsen viewers were not watching their shows live to save those not doing well in the ratings. This kind of contradicts the above, as you recognize people are using alternative methods to watch their shows and Nielsen is not accounting for it.

            I think, speaking for myself anyway, that folks would like an accurate assessment of how many unique viewers are watching a show with Nielsen and all alternatives combined. What are the real hard numbers overall?

            I get that a network needs Nielsen to charge advertisers rates based on live TV viewership that is hard, if not impossible, to assess otherwise, but the fact is more and more viewers are watching their shows by alternative means when they want to. Everything I watch is done so with very few exceptions. One reason is I can create my own schedule. Another is because of limited, or no, commercials irritating me and speeding up my viewing. I have also long hated the rude pop-up advertising at the bottom of the screen I no longer have to put up with. Is a show truly a failure because we are watching it, but the network isn’t making much, if any, money selling advertising on?

            The system is basically broken…by the networks themselves. The Nielsen ratings can no longer be the sole basis pf a show’s success. If not already, Nielsen needs to account for their viewers watching through alternative means such as keeping a diary for when they do.

            Networks and advertisers need to evolve or make drastic changes.

          • Destiny

            I don’t remember saying that specifically, but I did mention about FX and its DVR gains when aiming a question at, and responding to Mitch on here recently. Some casual thoughts here and there about random shows doesn’t really represent ones view point on a subject.

            I don’t really care much to be drawn into a discussion about the Nielsen system. But I will say that you won’t find anything better out there.

          • Shan

            You wont find a better ratings system until someone makes the networks realize how flawed the current monopoly is. With it’s small sampling, user controlled demo remotes and the outdated data collection system which has fallen over again.

          • Destiny

            If you understood statistical sampling, there’s nothing wrong with the current Nielsen sample size. I hate to sound rude, but so many people blame the sample size for their show flopping. There’s nothing to suggest if every viewer was tracked that their show would do any better.

          • Shan

            I do. The sampling is used to work out the number who watch based on TV sales, that’s bullshit. And the demo figures are worse as they are user controlled being prone to errors and manipulation . And I wouldn’t be surprised that the current monopoly provider as completely lost the three days of sampling.

        • Mitch Salem

          We’d love to be able to post some of that information, but they’re almost never made public.

        • baja7475

          dvr numbers are posted on tvbythenumbers

      • mjtop

        How do you know? Because they say so?

        • Destiny

          I was talking about Nielsens method of calculating television ratings. I don’t see anything wrong with it, it certainly isn’t outdated. You only really see talk like that from delusional fans of failed shows.

          • mjtop

            Don’t disagree about the accuracy of what they are measuring, but does it track total audience well? Overnights aren’t really important for anything but live events. the viewing options are so varied now, can we really say a program is popular based on initial network viewing?
            Most young people don’t watch network tv, or tv at all. Too many other entertainment options are available.

  6. JamesG

    The networks pay so many millions to Nielsen, and it seems like they’re run like a mom and pop organization. Even the fact that they have a day delay for even minor holidays always seems low rent.

    • Amaury

      What do you consider a minor holiday? Something like the delay we had for Presidents’ Day, for example?

      • JamesG

        Yeah, I mean Christmas and New Years is one thing, but every Monday holiday that a lot of people don’t get off is always a full day delay and impacts into later in the week. Retail and service industries don’t shut down; the networks don’t shut down; we get box office numbers; but Nielsen goes dark.

        • Jay

          Not only that, but those delays are even now being pushed into the next week. Now it seems every time there is a Monday holiday, the Thursday finals (which should be caught up to a normal schedule) are pushed back from a Friday release to the following Monday.

          With all the advancements in technology, it seems that Nielsen is regressing instead of progressing.

          • Amaury

            The Thursday cable/satellite ratings (top 150) are still posted on time, it’s just the chart with ABC, Fox, etc. that’s delayed for some reason.

        • Russell

          I understand those delays as well, and it only happens for MLK Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving week.

  7. Haris Papagi

    Let’s hope that the premiere of Keeping up with the Kardashians broke their systems🙏🏻😰

  8. Chris L

    Every show that has aired during this period has been cancelled for pulling a 0.0.

  9. Amaury

    I just realized the date in the URL of this page is May 11, 2016. Interesting.

    • Destiny

      That’s likely Mitch just reusing an existing post. Nielsen delays aren’t uncommon. At this rate though George R.R Martin will have his Game of Thrones book finished before Nielsen gets the numbers out.

      • Amaury

        That’s funny!

        Hopefully, though, it’s not thrown off so bad that we spend a week or two trying to catch up. We’re already behind on Saturday, Sunday, and yesterday. I don’t know about today. I guess we’ll see tomorrow if they’re posted on time around 1:00 PM (PDT). Unless, once the numbers are out, everything that’s behind is posted all at once either today or tomorrow, I can see today being delayed tomorrow.

        • Destiny

          I can’t imagine these delays going on for much longer. The service works fine 99.9 percent of the time, but for that one unfortunate 0.01 percent, we get delays. It’ll probably just be a case of Nielsen getting things back in order and getting the numbers out ASAP to networks and subscribers etc.

          • Amaury

            Yeah, I agree. Hopefully that turns out to be the case so we don’t have even more delays. “Hey, we heard you had delays, so we’re going to delay your delays with even more delays.”

          • Destiny

            Lol. This whole thing has been an embarrassment though for Nielsen. It really makes you wonder why they didn’t have any safeguards to prevent these kind of situations from occurring.

  10. Martin

    Wow, I didn’t think this problem would last this long. Heh heh.

  11. Amaury

    There’s some good news.

  12. Amaury

    Some good news there! (My previous comment saying the same thing can be rejected. Typo in my email.)

  13. Russell

    Predictions for Sunday:
    Little Big Shots – 1.7
    Chicago Justice – 1.3
    Shades of Blue – 0.9

    Bob’s Burgers – 0.8
    Simpsons – 1.1
    Making History – 0.8
    Family Guy – 1.2
    Last Man on Earth – 0.9

    60 Minutes – 1.1
    NCIS: LA – 1.2
    Madam Secretary – 0.8
    Elementary – 0.6

    A.F.V – 0.9
    Once – 0.8
    Time – 0.6
    American Crime – 0.5

    • nbtx

      Nielsen should just use your numbers! What difference does it make at this point. Will their numbers be accepted as correct anyway at this point?

      • Destiny

        Of course they will. It’s not like anything will shift more than a tenth or two in either direction anyway(As usual).

  14. Destiny


  15. Fred

    RIP Nielsens Nice knowing you lol

  16. Jake

    What a mess!

  17. Fred

    How can networks ever trust Nielsen after such a blunder

  18. Fred

    This just seems so damn strange all of it

    • Shan

      I guess they are desperately trying to recover the sampling data. Why on earth they do an important upgrade after stupid daylight savings when sleep related human errors go up is beyond me. Then why we still go through daylight saving changes is beyond all reason against it.

      • Destiny

        And then comes the underwhelming result when shows have either held, or shifted only a tenth in either direction in the 18-49 demo. Still, it makes for a good talking point!

  19. Dyshpo

    Wierd timing for ratings blackout .Trump fires all US attorney generals during tax and trumpcare debates Russian investigation. And Micheal Flynn admitting he was a paid operative of Turkey. Then ratings go out for 4 days.

  20. Dyshpo

    Neilsen can still survive as profitable corporation without public releases if they’re being sanctioned by FCC . Public releases of ratings could be down indefinitely. Or delayed for a week. And yes this can happen if FCC reduces any rules that benefits cable and networks and ratings firms for their part of a blackout.

  21. Fred

    I am not holding my breath

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