Server problems at the Nielsen Company have caused delays in the TV ratings for network programs, causing consternation among network executives and media buyers that rely upon the numbers. Nielsen ratings data which is usually delivered the next day has been delayed three and four days, delaying key decisions about which network shows will get the axe because of poor ratings.
Nielsen blamed a software bug from an unnamed vendor for the delays, which caused performance problems for the servers that support the data meters used to compile ratings for TV shows. MediaPost has additional details from Nielsen Executive Vice President-Global Business Services Mitchell Habib.
"A firmware bug from the server manufacturer went undetected and caused a data collection stoppage over the weekend," Habib wrote to customers. "In the course of fixing this issue, we uncovered a second defect on Monday which resulted in further performance degradation and delays."
“This comes at a particularly tough time of year because all of us are making evaluations about ‘bubble’ shows and time periods and so forth,” Alan Wurtzel, the president of research for NBC, told The New York Times.
It's not yet clear whether the delays will help or hurt the prospects of shows like "Castle" or "Better Off Ted." But network execs better not even consider cancelling "24," because if you upset Jack Bauer, he will head butt you in a heartbeat.