In all, more than 2.6 million tweets about the music awards show reached more than 7 million unduplicated audience members, far and away the biggest online crowd for any non-sports show of the week. On the sports side, Peyton Manning‘s setting of an NFL career record in touchdown passes further goosed interest in the already attractive game between San Francisco and his Denver Broncos, and drew 860,000 tweets seen by more than 7.5 million followers.
Nielsen’s Twitter TV ratings measure the unduplicated online audience seeing tweets about a show during its initial broadcast and for three hours before and after.
BET has been extremely effective in leveraging Twitter and online apps such as its music-scratching tool to reach the huge and very active African-American audience online, especially on Twitter. It paid off for the Hip Hop Awards, otherwise seemingly a not-very-high-profile music awards show on a not-very-high-profile niche network.
The Walking Dead continued to lurch toward the top of the Twitter TV ratings, though not as quickly or as high as in its Season 5 debut, a smash hit in just about everything Nielsen measures. FX’s Freak Show anthology proved freaky enough to tuck in at No. 3.
Most of the rest of the list includes stalwarts such as WWE, The Voice, Dancing With the Stars and (here we go again with hip hop) Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood, not to mention two of Shonda Rhimes‘ Thursday night shows, Scandal and newcomer How To Get Away With Murder.
On the sports side, the NFL again proved less of an absolute sure thing, as teams grind into the middle of the season, some teams are clearly going nowhere, and other sports leagues are offering some competition. That said, the league still had half of the ten most-tweeted-about broadcasts, the lowest number so far this season.
Baseball fans stirred themselves to talk about two American League championship games featuring Cinderella Kansas City, going to the World Series for the first time in 29 years, and the pennant-clinching National League championship game, which ended with a walk-off three-run home run. It will be interesting, however, to see what kinds of audiences MLB can stir with the World Series, featuring VERY-small-market Kansas City against San Francisco, which has won two of the past four World Series, but isn’t really a big national brand like the Yankees, Red Sox or even the team it beat, St. Louis.
College football, for the first time, saw two of its games grab Twitter attention in a major way. One featured, again, defending national champ Florida State in a tight game against Top 10-ranked Notre Dame (speaking of national brands).
ESPN just posted a release saying the game was the most-viewed October college football telecast ever, on any network (records only go back to 1991, however). Further sparking interest (and tweets): the game’s outcome was in doubt until the very last seconds, with an unusual offensive interference call on the second-to-last play that nullified what would have been a winning touchdown for Notre Dame.
The other college game grabbing some attention was an SEC matchup between Alabama, winner of three of the past five national championships and another national power and brand. The Crimson Tide waxed a (formerly) highly regarded Texas A&M team, 59-0.
As always, Nielsen provides plenty of caveats for its numbers, 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.