The year in TV ratings looks like this:
Sunday Feb 10, 2013 – official ratings resumes.
Saturday Mar 23, 2013 – end of 6 week ratings period before Easter non-ratings.
Sunday Mar 24 – Saturday April 6 – 2 weeks of Easter non-ratings
Sunday April 7 – official ratings resumes again (and daylight Savings ends)
Saturday November 30, 2013 – end of 2013 official ratings
Sunday December 1, 2013 – summer non-ratings for 10 weeks.
Sunday February 9, 2014 – official ratings resume for 2014.
The six weeks of official ratings between summer and Easter in 2013 may cause a few dilemmas for the networks – that is one less week than we had in 2012.
Seven will again show My Kitchen Rules at the start of the year – usually launching the week after the Australian Open tennis concludes – that means the show only has 8 weeks from premiere until the week before Easter non-ratings to resume. This could result in 4 or even 5 episodes per week – which we saw happen in 2012. Given the ratings success of the show, Seven will almost certainly bombard the schedule of February and March with My Kitchen Rules as much as they can.
Nine will have a similar problem with The Block All Stars – slated for a start of year launch. The Block is usually a ten week cycle – so if they start early like Seven, then they too will have 8 weeks to get through the show. Their other alternative is to do what Ten does with the Biggest Loser – and finish after Easter with the show still playing during Easter non-ratings but not on as many nights and with shortened episodes so as to preserve content. Ten’s The Biggest Loser usually concludes in May.
The other consequence of an early Easter, is networks may chose to wait until after Easter to launch their biggest titles of the year – rather then have them on for a few weeks, off for Easter and back again. We saw this happen in 2010, a year that also had an early Easter.
An April start for the bigger shows probably makes more sense anyway as daylight saving is done by then and TV in general has higher audiences during April-September.
Source (for dates): OzTam