It’s nothing compared to what people have gone through in Florida, but the NFL has been soaked by Hurricane Irma with no ratings coming this morning from Nielsen for a second day in a row.
However, things could be coming soon-ish. “We are in the process of recovering from Hurricane Irma and returning to business as usual,” Nielsen told clients this morning. “As such, we are currently processing Local and National Overnight data for Sunday, September 10 and Monday, September 11.”
Coming off weaker than desired numbers for its 2017-2018 season kickoff September 7 after declines last year, the league was hoping some big-draw games would provide a ratings bounce. They might have, but we won’t know for a little while longer it seems.
There will likely be no numbers coming today for the doubleheader kickoff of Monday Night Football on ESPN last night, nor for the season finale of Bachelor In Paradise on ABC as the data company strives to get things up and running in its Tampa-area HQ.
With all that, and with nothing yesterday, I hear we could find out how the official start of Sunday Night Football, the Miss America competition and Big Brother did by later today. Last night’s numbers could come tomorrow morning.
The correspondence this morning from the data company follows Nielsen offering more vague assurances yesterday.
“We are in the process of using the data from our backup facility for downstream processing in Tampa,” Nielsen’s Chief Technology and Operations Officer John Tavolieri told clients late Monday. “The teams will be conducting additional validation steps in order to ensure quality,” he added of the delay that started when employees had to exit the main Oldsmar, FL facility on the weekend as then Hurricane Irma started to get close to Tampa Bay. “In addition, the speed of our work is impacted by the on-going situation here in Tampa,” noted Tavolieri on September 11. “Our facility in Tampa weathered quite well through this storm. However, throughout the Tampa area there are still some curfews, the schools are still closed and our facility will remain closed through the day tomorrow as we clean up some outside hazards. We are also awaiting the return of those employees who were subject to a mandatory evacuation.”
“Accordingly, we need some additional time before providing you with an update on the release schedule for data and our return to normal business operations,” the Nielsen exec informed outlets. “We will update you again tomorrow through the communications process we initiated before the storm.”
Now, it looks like numbers are being crunched, at least some of them.
All of which seems to answer the question of whether we will be getting timely results for the Hand In Hand hurricane relief telethon set to air tonight simultaneously on ABC, Fox, NBC, CBS, HBO and elsewhere. Originally created to help those hit by Hurricane Harvey, the benefit expanded to include those impacted by Irma too. Robert De Niro, Connie Britton, Sterling K. Brown, George Clooney, Stephen Colbert, Terry Crews, Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres, Leonardo DiCpario, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Blake Shelton, Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington are among those participating tonight live from L.A.
In March, the data company lost several days of collection and results due to a power outage at the Oldsmar, FL facility. Earlier this summer, numbers were delayed because of “processing performance” in collecting data from markets that included Los Angeles and New Orleans.
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