The BET Awards, the capper to the cable channel’s annual BET Experience that annually overwhelms the L.A. Live entertainment district in downtown Los Angeles, grabbed lots of online attention in this week’s Twitter TV ratings, reaching an unduplicated audience of 9.3 million Twitter users with nearly 10.9 million tweets, far and away the biggest Twitter-borne conversation about any non-sports show. On the sports side of Nielsen’s weekly rundown of TV-related Twitter conversations, it was all FIFA World Cup soccer games, led by matches featuring the teams from the United States and Mexico.
Nielsen’s Twitter TV ratings attempt to measure the unduplicated audience of Twitter users who saw posts about a given broadcast during its first broadcast or within three hours before or after. In this case, the BET Awards overcame an unpromising early summer Sunday schedule to rock it out online, with a staggering number of tweets about the show. I can’t remember any other program in recent months with that many tweets (we’ve only been writing about this stuff since April or so, so mega events such as the Super Bowl and Oscars likely do much better, but then again, not much else has come close here since Deadline began tracking these numbers). There have been other shows that have reached a large audience, given the large followings of those talking about a show. But this show, from a relatively small basic-cable channel, is definitely an online overachiever.
Also of note in this week’s Series and Specials data: the shows that ended up Nos. 2 and 3 on this list (Teen Wolf and Pretty Little Liars) are also among the top three programs getting the most money this year from the California Film Commission’s annual allocation of production incentive cash for making films and TV series in the state. Makes one wonder if a lot of tweeting support can motivate state bureaucrats too. Other noteworthy bits: WWE settled back down after last week’s No. 2 spot on the list, but this week put two shows, including a pay-per-view event, on the list. Reality competitions Big Brother, Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, The Bachelorette and Rising Star all nabbed slots they’ve nabbed before. Disney Channel‘s Girl Meets World, meanwhile, is a new addition.
On the sports side, the Twitter conversations about FIFA’s World Cup tournament, which have also been drawing huge broadcast ratings on English- and Spanish-language channels in the United States, were led by high-profile, closely watched matches involving the United States and Mexico. Both teams were attempting this week to progress out of the first round of pool play into the knockout rounds. Both made it to the next level, but, spoiler alert, Mexico lost its Round of 16 game in bitter fashion to the Dutch on Sunday.
No doubt a great deal of the conversation around that game was whether the Dutch player was actually fouled in the penalty box, a controversial play that led to the game-deciding penalty kick in a close match. Another Mexico match, from the first round of play, also made this week’s Top 10. The United States plays its Round of 16 match against Belgium today, another game likely to draw lots of attention online and on air.
Also of note: the surprising number of games on the list involving two teams from other continents that also sparked very large conversations online. Host country Brazil’s Round of 16 game against Chile was the first of that stage of the competition, and ended up No. 3 on the sports list. Besides, isn’t Brazil the second favorite team of every World Cup fan (with the possible exception of Chile, now that they’ve lost in a post-overtime penalty kick shootout to Brazil 3-2)?
As always, Nielsen adds a few cautionary statements and explainers to their material, to wit: “Nielsen Social captures relevant Tweets from three hours before, during and three hours after an episode’s initial broadcast, local time. Unique Audience measures the audience of relevant Tweets ascribed to an episode from when the Tweets were sent until the end of the broadcast day at 5am. Sports Events include those on Broadcast and National Cable Networks only across all day parts. For multicast events, networks are listed alphabetically and metrics reflect the highest Unique Audience across all airing networks, denoted with an asterisk.”