There was a lot of history at the Super Bowl last night for Tom Brady, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and halftime star The Weeknd, but Nielsen today is making his own story.
As America waits and waits for the verdict of the hearing, it seems at this late hour that there won’t be a Big Game hearing anytime soon for the first time.
In literally becoming the new definition of ‘you only had one job’, the longtime data measurement company has nothing to report on the Buccaneers’ 31-9 win over former defending champions from the NFL Kansas City Chiefs on CBS yesterday. The quick affiliate reviews could be available early tomorrow morning, I hear. However, as one well-positioned network source put it, “no one can guess at this point, can they?”
Weeknd’s Super Bowl halftime show marks a touchdown – Review; Watch Full Performance – Update
The problem appears to be incorrect metrics which caused Nielsen to “re-process” their data. A ratings information spreadsheet was released earlier on Monday, but was quickly recalled. Throughout the day, networks were told the numbers were coming soon, only to be told the release time had been pushed back again.
“It seems pretty certain that there will be nothing tonight now,” another network official told Deadline of the delay. Usually, the first unadjusted digits for overnight ratings are distributed to network clients around 8am PST. At that time, Nielsen reported that nothing was going down the pipe until at least 11:30 a.m. PST.
On this and the unprecedented overall delay on the big TV raffle, Nielsen did not respond to Deadline’s requests for it. We’ll update if we hear from them, or when the Super Bowl ratings come in – whichever comes first.
Even though Nielsen has experienced disruptions in its data mining due to technical issues and extreme weather conditions in the past, the company has never suffered from such a large escapement as it does today.
Watched by over 100 million viewers with a huge draw among the wealthy 18-49 age group, the Super Bowl has been the biggest TV show year after year in decades.
Like the Oscars and Emmys, big game odds are some of the most important information for networks, which turn in their Super Bowl coverage and set advertising rates. Data that may take on more importance this year after an NFL season full of coronavirus safety protocols, shifted schedules due to positive tests and a 10% drop in grades on average. There’s also the increase in the availability of the streaming championship game, which is slowly but surely drawing more and more fans away from the traditional networked viewing experience, pandemic or not.
Which is another way of putting it, the Super Bowl odds really matter.