Turns out making fun of Justin Bieber is just as big on social media as fans lathering him up, at least based on this week’s Twitter TV ratings from Nielsen. Both The Comedy Central Roast of Bieber and the event’s pre-show landed in the Top 10 for the week. The actual roast spawned nearly 1.3 million tweets that reached 7.4 million people.
Other big newcomers among the usual suspects this week: the first of the last episodes of Mad Men, MTV’s Finding Carter and CW’s The Flash. WWE’s Monday-night party ended up second overall, with a third the tweets and half the audience reach of the Bieber-fest.
The Twitter TV ratings track the unduplicated audience of Twitter users who saw a post during a show’s initial broadcast or during the three hours before and after that. Bieber’s roast was pre-recorded, but lots of folks seemed to lay in wait for it.
It didn’t hurt that new social-media app WhipClip had a special deal with Comedy Central to make it easy to share video bits from the show on Twitter and other social media. I’m also told that other social-media fans fired up Twitter’s own just-launched Periscope app, which allows people to live-stream video from their smartphones. Some of those folks just “broadcast” the stream online that way. The ways people are getting video, especially on mobile devices, are starting to multiply at a rapid pace, no doubt alarming traditional broadcasters trying to keep pace.
On the sports side, the NCAA Final Four games Saturday that decided which two college basketball teams will play for tonight’s national championship drew the most attention, especially Wisconsin’s upset of previously undefeated Kentucky. That shocker (though Wisconsin is highly regarded, Kentucky was an unprecedented 38-0) spawned more than 2 million tweets that reached more than 8.8 million people.
Opening night for Major League Baseball also snuck into the top 10, a matchup between perennial power St. Louis and their frequently hapless but possibly revived long-time rival, the Chicago Cubs. The buzz around that game (only 222,000 tweets, but they reached almost 4.4 million fans) has to be slightly heartening for ESPN as it prepares for heavy coverage of the long season ahead.
Otherwise, the top 10 was filled out with some of the last games of the NBA regular season, between a handful of playoff-bound teams positioning themselves before the postseason begins in a couple of weeks.
As always, Nielsen appends a series of caveats to its data, to wit:
Nielsen Social captures relevant Tweets from three hours before through three hours after broadcast, local time. Unique Audience measures the audience of relevant Tweets ascribed to a program from when the Tweets are 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.