Short answer, yes. Long answer, the structure and wording has changed. Tradition so far has not.

Prior to November of 2018, TV markets had 4 months of the year where the local news stations went all out with attention getting stories and in OKC’s case, weather. It was a time to inflate viewership to sell advertising space at top dollar. So what’s changed?

For one, there are still sweep months, but instead of four of them with May being the biggest, there’s now 12 of them that last for roughly 3 weeks a piece. They are now called Nielsen “Survey Dates”. In May, the survey date is from April 25th to May 22nd. This is the period where the numbers count. So this is when local news will still put out their best, including weather coverage.

News sweeps periods

Regarding age old tradition, yes, local news still follows the traditional sweeps months today. Why? Because it’s what they know to do, and the change is so new, they haven’t adapted or adjusted yet. Look at some of your traditional network TV shows. They start up Feb (sweeps), and wrap up at the end of May (sweeps). The Fall season is similar with November being a big month.

So if someone in local news tells you there is no sweeps, they’re being disingenuous. Yes they still exist, and the premise behind them is still the same. Hype, drama, attention getting, ratings driven, content. All designed to capture the most revenue. So don’t be fooled.

For more on this story, read: Are TV Sweeps Month History?

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