Nielsen Evacuates in Tampa


Hurricane Charley could have a powerful influence on TV ratings, including dumping some water on the Olympic torch.

With the hurricane moving toward the West Coast of Florida, Nielsen Media Research's Tampa offices have been evacuated in accordance with a county-wide mandatory evacuation.

That means no Nielsen ratings for the market until at least Friday. The research company will maintain a small staff to monitor ratings and reassess the situation Friday.

"We are still committed to providing our clients with data," said a spokesman.

If the evacuation stretches into the weekend, it could delay numbers on one of the year's biggest ratings events: The Aug. 13 opening ceremony of the Athens Olympics on NBC.