FIFA’s World Cup telecasts continued to absorb American attention on social media every bit as much as they delivered big TV ratings for the fleet of networks carrying games, and it wasn’t just for the U.S. team’s unexpected run into the so-called “knockout rounds.” Even after that foray ended with a 2-1 loss to Belgium (a week after that game, I am not writing “spoiler alert,” dang it), interest and online conversation have continued to be very high.
That said, the Team USA game was a particularly huge conversation piece online, generating nearly 4.7 million posts on Twitter during the game and in the three hours before and after the telecast on four U.S. networks. Those tweets reached an audience of almost 12.4 million viewers, Nielsen calculates.
Perhaps even more interesting was the continued interest in games even after the U.S. departure. The Brazil-Colombia quarterfinal matchup drew nearly 1.6 million tweets, reaching nearly 7.7 million Twitter users, and all the other quarterfinals, plus Round of 16 matchups featuring marquee teams Argentina, France and Germany also drew big audiences. Sneaking in at the bottom of the week’s rankings, now that there are fewer World Cup matches as teams are eliminated, were the men’s finals at Wimbledon (a five-set thriller between two of the game’s biggest stars, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic) and a UFC matchup televised on pay-per-view and two Fox-owned channels.
On the Series and Specials side of the weekly rankings, once again ABC Family‘s Pretty Little Liars remains atop the heap, reaching an audience of 2.6 million Twitter users on 196,000 tweets. It was followed by another episode of The Bachelorette, the week’s latest entry from the WWE, and Teen Wolf, another basic-cable summer distraction making a return appearance here too. For those worried about the end of civilization as we know it, Keeping Up With The Kardashians popped into the Series top 10, and so did a couple of special events: a broadcast of a Miley Cyrus performance from her latest tour on NBC and VH1’s holiday Philly 4th of July Jam. It’s important to note that not a single scripted or unscripted show or special came close to matching the numbers put up by the World Cup games, and that was in the United States, where we supposedly don’t care much about that other kind of football.
As always, Nielsen asks that we throw in a lengthy disclaimer when we use their numbers. Here it is:
“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.”