Nielsen sweeps periods - Sweeps Dates for TV Season

TV Sweeps Date


The calculation of the ratings including the technology that is used by Nielsen is made possible by electronic metering. Currently, organizations that are involved in monitoring the ratings of cable television shows and movies make use of two meters. These are the set meters that will capture the cable or local channel that is being watched by a certain household and the ‘people meter’ which adds value into the survey. Aside from checking the channel that is followed by a certain household, the metering or survey will also take into account the people who are watching the specified channel.

In some cases, diaries are also used when collecting information. This is practice is common in United States and when used in smaller markets, the paper diaries are used. Nielsen is known to process roughly 2 million paper diaries on a yearly basis coming from different parts of the country. Commonly called the ‘sweeps’, these sweeps will normally cover the months of November, February, May and July. Under this arrangement, the diaries that will cover seven days or eight days will be sent to homes so that household members can list down the channels that are watched and the people who are watching these channels. For the duration of the sweeps that are hosted by Nielsen, these diaries are then mailed to new households on a week to week basis.


Once one viewing week has ended, Nielsen will then collect the diaries and will check the data that are indicated on these diaries to come up with aggregated observations and conclusions. The results that are generated by these sweeps and the researches made by Nielsen will help cable and television stations adjust and plan out their programming. Also, business and advertisers will also use the data and information to decide on their marketing and advertising plans. The results of the sweeps will help advertisers and businesses decide which products or placements should be aired at what time. In short, the results of the sweeps will help businesses make sensible business decisions. Sometimes, the sweeps will include the months of January, March and October.

Nielsen Sweeps Periods
Season November February May July
2009–2010 29 October – 25 November 2009 4 February – 3 March 2010 29 April – 26 May 2010 1–28 July 2010
2010–2011 28 October – 24 November 2010 3 February – 2 March 2011 28 April – 25 May 2011 30 June – 27 July 2011
2011–2012 27 October – 23 November 2011 2–29 February 2012 26 April – 23 May 2012 28 June – 25 July 2012
2012–2013 26 October – 22 November 2012 1–28 February 2013 25 April – 22 May 2013 27 June – 24 July 2013