Sports fans love to follow their favorite games on TV, and their Twitter conversations speak volumes about how much they share their excitement with others. Just look at the numbers from 2013. During the year, 50 percent of Tweets about TV in the U.S.—a total of 492 million Tweets—were about sports events. Sports events also comprised 12 of the top 20 most-tweeted-about TV broadcasts during the year in the U.S.
But we can see more than just how many Tweets active sports fans are sending. We can now tell how many Tweets they’re checking out across screens as well and compare that Twitter engagement level to that of other program types. To take a closer look, a new Nielsen SocialGuide study analyzed Twitter conversation about the top 10 sports events since the launch of Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings (NTTR) in the fall of 2013 and found that people who saw Tweets about each event viewed an average of 32 Tweets about that event. That compares with an average of 25 Tweets for the top special events airings and nine Tweets for the top new series episodes. This high level of engagement around sports events is significant as teams, programmers and advertisers look to reach and amplify messaging to audiences across screens.
Curious to know which recent sports events had the biggest audience reach on Twitter in the U.S.? Super Bowl XLVIII tops the list with 15.3 million people seeing Tweets about the event. The NFC and AFC Championship games follow, with Tweets reaching 11.4 million and 10.9 million people on Twitter, respectively. The Vizio BCS National Championship on ESPN is next, with 10.4 million people seeing 4.4 million Tweets, and the XXII Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony rounds out the top five—Tweets about the excitement of the event were shared across screens to 9.6 million people. You can also check back in weekly with Nielsen SocialGuide to find out what sporting events topped the NTTR charts, based on Twitter TV reach.