Broncos may have been a bust on Super Bowl Sunday, but puppies performed brilliantly. In addition to the runaway success of Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” commercial in terms of audience response, Animal Planet reports record ratings for its 10th annual Puppy Bowl. A new high of 13.5 million unique viewers checked out the canine competition across its 12-hour marathon run. The premiere telecast, from 3-5 PM ET/PT, averaged 3.3 million viewers – up 24% compared to last year. It was the No. 1 telecast in all of cable Sunday in overall audience — as well as with women in the demo, naturally. The pooch parade put Animal Planet in second place behind only Super Bowl-hosting Fox across key demos, including 18-49, 25-54 and women 18-49.
A dog fight has broken out between Puppy Bowl and PBS’ Downton Abbey as to which was alpha dog, socially, on Super Bowl Sunday. Animal Planet boasts that Puppy Bowl X dominated Twitter, generating more than 340,000 tweets in its premiere telecast, trended on Facebook throughout the day and witnessed an estimated 150,000 #PuppyBowl Instagram pics in the network’s first-ever live Instagram integration, which featured viewers and their pets on air in real time. Among those participating: Ricky Gervais, Rob Lowe, Lindsey Vonn, Pam Grier and Sean Astin, who naturally gave his support to the #PlayRudy movement. Heck, even President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, with First Dogs Bo and Sunny, got in on the Puppy Bowl social scene.
But one day earlier, Downton claimed the Super Bowl Sunday Second-Place Social Crown, noting PBS’ Masterpiece franchise under which it airs had kicked off the #DramaBowlPBS rivalry with the game on January 29, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and posts on other social media platforms, asking fans “which team are you on?” The campaign posts and images saw tens of thousands of user interactions, generating 31.5 million potential impressions on Twitter and nearly 1.2 million post views, PBS said Monday, citing Topsy and Facebook.