Global data company Nielsen has been hit by a suspected cyber attack which has caused ongoing delays in the release of daily television ratings.

Nielsen, which conducts audience measurement research for Australian ratings provider OzTam, confirmed on Thursday it might have been hacked.

This has delayed the release of Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s TV ratings – leaving the Seven network in suspense about the performance of Wednesday’s Big Brother grand final episode.

The motivation behind the cyber attack is unclear.

In a statement, a Nielsen spokeswoman said: “Nielsen has become aware of an unexpected disruption relating to the Australian TV Audience Measurement (TAM) data centre environment. This disruption is derived from a ransomware attack in which Nielsen was the victim. As a result, TV ratings data remains unavailable.

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