Now is about the time in the day when we’d report Nielsen’s fast national numbers for Sunday’s primetime. That’s not going to be possible today, as Nielsen is unable to send out any data on Monday — and possibly for the next few days, too.
The TV ratings currency company’s data-collection department is headquartered in Tampa, Florida, which was in Hurricane Irma’s path of destruction. While we don’t yet have the particulars about how the natural disaster affected the actual office, there is clearly going to be some catch-up with regards to that part of the process, which will take some time to sort out. That means no numbers today for Seth MacFarlane’s “The Orville” series premiere or the NFL’s busy opening Sunday, among other top telecasts.
“Our first priority and thoughts are for the safety of our clients, Nielsen associates, and communities in which we operate and serve,” Nielsen said in a statement. “The team that reports ratings has evacuated the Tampa Bay area due to Hurricane Irma. Therefore, our ratings will be delayed in the near term. We are actively monitoring the situation in Florida and will provide another update as soon as we know more.”
And here are excerpts from an email Nielsen sent directly to clients on Sunday, which TheWrap obtained:
In light of the impact of Hurricane Irma, we have mobilized plans to protect our ability to collect data. The peak of the storm is expected to hit the Tampa Bay area late this evening, into tomorrow morning, bringing strong winds in excess of 100 miles per hour and a potential storm surge. As a result, until we are able to resume normal operations, no data will be issued. We will keep you updated on the situation and our plans for resuming data release.
We understand that this is not optimal for clients, but we are facing a powerful storm and a unique situation. We appreciate, in advance, your understanding.
After rattling off some local-market collection-time expectations, Nielsen execs concluded their note: “Please note that we will extend retitling deadlines for those clients that are in markets in the path of the storm. The duration of the extension will be finalized once the full impact of the storm is known.”