We get a lot of questions about “when will you post the ratings for [insert show here]?” As a general rule it’s fairly predictable and the answer to “why haven’t you posted the ratings for [insert show here] is usually “because we didn’t see it” or because it’s not the type of things we normally post (we don’t post comprehensive ratings for kids shows, we don’t do comprehensive coverage of sports, we don’t post comprehensive ratings of every show on a cable network, etc.). But even with the stuff we do regularly post we see a lot of questions. Here’s a table with the general guideline of when we post daily info:
|Night||Preliminary Broadcast||Broadcast Finals||Cable News||Cable Finals|
|Monday night’s ratings||By Noon ET Tuesday||By 6pm ET Tuesday||By 6pm ET Tuesday||By 6pm ET Tuesday|
|Tuesday night’s ratings||By Noon ET Weds||By 6pm ET Weds||By 6pm ET Weds||By 6pm ET Weds|
|Wednesday night’s ratings||By Noon ET Thurs||By 6pm ET Thurs||By 6pm ET Thurs||By 6pm ET Thurs|
|Thursday night’s ratings||By Noon ET Fri||By 6pm ET Fri||By 6pm ET Fri||By 6pm ET Fri|
|Friday night’s ratings||By noon ET Sat*||By 6pm ET Mon||By 6pm ET Mon||By 6pm ET Mon|
|Saturday night’s ratings||By Noon ET Sun*||We Don’t Post||By Noon Tues**||We Don’t Post|
|Sunday night’s ratings||By Noon ET Mon||By Noon ET Tues***||By Noon Tues**||By Noon Tues|
*while we have very good access to Friday and Saturday fast nationals during the regular broadcast TV season, in the summer it’s pretty spotty. So the answer to questions like “It’s 5pm and you still haven’t posted Friday night’s fast national numbers yet, where are they!?” is because I haven’t seen them yet.
**we only post aggregate cable news network total day and primetime info for Saturday and Sunday rather than individual programs and time periods
***I Haven’t been posting these in the summer usually because we don’t see Sunday finals separately.
Inevitably, someone will ask where are the Burn Notice ratings Friday at noon ET, or “where are the True Blood ratings?” on Monday afternoon.
The times in the table above are general guidelines. Lately I have been posting the daily cable and cable news numbers by 5pm ET, but it depends on when we see the information. If we run past the times listed above, it’s always because we received the data later than usual (which definitely happens!).
Also, while Sunday night cable numbers are not generally available until Tuesday morning, cable networks can (and frequently do) order special reports from Nielsen to get them by Monday afternoon. When networks order special reports like that they often release the information, and when they do, we post it. If they don’t request special reporting from Nielsen and release the information in the report, no amount of requests for True Blood or Falling Skies ratings is going to make them show up before Tuesday.
And of course sometimes there are Nielsen processing delays that everybody has to deal with — even subscribers! Such delays are fortunately (knock on wood) relatively rare.