Archive for the ‘television’ tag
For the past two weeks, we’ve been tracking – and analyzing – tweets about the 2012 Olympics. We’ve talked about sponsors and athletes and exciting match-ups. And now, here are a few final Twitter stats from the London Olympics.
From July 27, 2012 through August 12, 2012 – opening ceremony through closing ceremony – we tracked 50,643,268 Olympics-related tweets* from 11,070,485 contributors. That’s right, 50 million tweets in just over two weeks! The largest Twitter spike included 1.2 million tweets posted in a single hour on July 27 during the first hour of the Opening Ceremony.
The most buzzed about Olympic sport was football (soccer!) with 2.8 million tweets. The most buzzed about 2012 athlete was diver Tom Daley from Great Britain with 630 thousand tweets. And the most buzzed about country in this year’s games was the United States, which ended the Olympics with 104 medals and more than 5.4 million tweets.
The most retweeted Twitter accounts overall were:
- @London2012 with 438K retweets during the games
- @NiallOfficial 369K retweets
- @NBCOlympics 255K retweets
If you’re interested in analysis of any Olympics-related tweets, just let us know!
*Our tracking included full-fidelity coverage of any mentions of a few dozen keywords related to the Olympics, London 2012, and official Twitter handles and hashtags, posted between 2012-07-27 00:00 UTC and 2012-08-13 07:00 UTC. Let us know if you have any questions about our methodology.
The 2012 Summer Olympics kicked off a few days ago. These are the first Olympic games where Twitter will play a significant role in both audience and athlete participation; publications like Mashable are even touting these Olympics as the “first real-time games”. But if you live in the United States, you already know just how “real-time” the London 2012 Olympics have been. As an example, NBC opted to tape-delay their broadcast of Friday’s Opening Ceremony, starting the US East Coast broadcast at 7:30 p.m. EDT, three and a half hours after the event actually started in London. In an age of Twitter and other real-time social media, this kind of time delay presents a big challenge for fans and a missed opportunity for networks. Live television is more relevant now than it has been in years – and tape delays are increasingly irrelevant and even detrimental.
Twitter and Live TV
While most types of television benefit from the sense of urgency engendered by real-time social media, two kinds of shows have become essential to watch in real time. The first are shows that rely on audience participation throughout each episode, like American Idol and other reality shows where folks at home call in their votes to determine which contestants continue on.
The others are the cliffhanger-heavy, high drama shows with reveals galore, like ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars. If you don’t tune in when the show is originally broadcast, then you risk hearing about the ending before you see it. Twitter should come with a giant “spoiler alert” label on it.
Sporting events fall into this second category – televised events that must be watched live to prevent spoilers. Can you imagine watching the Super Bowl a few hours after it originally aired? It would be nearly impossible to avoid learning which team won. The Olympics should probably fall into this category, right? Right?!
Twitter, TV and the 2012 Olympic Games
Of course it’s complicated to consider myriad time zones and a large global audience. And it gets even more complicated when you throw in Twitter, which allows people from around the world to share their thoughts with anyone at any time. To help deal with these complexities, NBC, the only US broadcast television network with the rights to air the Olympics, has opted to time-delay their airing of some events, while others air in real time.
This time delay has led to confusion and countless spoilers, like last Saturday when the results of the men’s swimming 400 medley competition was announced on NBC’s Nightly News program, even though the event itself hadn’t been broadcast on NBC yet! Of course this has led to numerous articles about how to avoid Olympic spoilers on Twitter, as well as an angry backlash online, with hashtags like #NBCfail emerging as Olympic fans plead with NBC to air more events live. There are even parody Twitter accounts poking fun at the time delay. @NBCDelayed popped up over the weekend and has already generated thousands of retweets.
So, are people watching less of NBC’s coverage because of this? Well… Maybe not. Not yet, at least.
Nielsen ratings were actually up for Friday’s broadcast of the Opening Ceremony, with an average of 40.7 million viewers tuning in. That is higher than the 2008 Opening Ceremony in Beijing (34.9 million) and the 1996 Opening Ceremony in Atlanta (39.7 million).
Overall, there were 6.3 million tweets posted about the Olympics during the Opening Ceremony on Friday (during the UK and US broadcasts of the event, lasting from 20:00 UTC on July 27, 2012 until 07:00 UTC on July 28, 2012). Here’s the tweets per minute breakdown for the full time period. The biggest spike of about 29K tweets per minute happened 48 minutes in the live show, at 20:48 UTC, right around the time Mr. Bean started conducting the London Symphony Orchestra (a phrase I never thought I’d type).
In 2008, Twitter was very different than it is today. It was much smaller, and far less tied to pop culture and television than it is now. So a comparison to 2008 Olympic tweets probably won’t help us understand the 2012 Olympics games very much. However, comparing tweets posted during the different Opening Ceremony broadcasts can tell us something. 3.85 million tweets were posted during live performance (UK time) and 2.35 million tweets were posted during US East Coast broadcast on NBC. Since NBC started their broadcast 3.5 hours into the live performance, there is some overlap between the two telecasts (from approximately 23:30 – 00:00 UTC). The chart below highlights the four hours of the Opening Ceremony from both the live and tape-delayed perspectives.
There is large decrease in tweets during the US broadcast compared to the live broadcast. But if much of the rest of the world was watching when the Opening Ceremony was performed live, then US tweet volume wouldn’t really be able to compete with that. Approximately one-third of Twitter accounts are from the United States, so it’s reasonable to expect the kinds of volume numbers we see above. These certainly aren’t the numbers we’d expect if American viewers simply boycotted the program.
On the other hand, the Opening Ceremony aired on Friday night, marking the official start of the 2012 Olympic games. People simply hadn’t had time to become irritated and fed up with the time delay yet, so lots of people watched. If there really is general support to move away from tape-delayed broadcasts, it will likely take a few days to emerge in the Olympics data. So for now, we’ll keep watching it.
Tape delays are not only irrelevant, but they’re actually damaging fan participation and goodwill. It’s time NBC – and other networks who insist on time delays for their live televised programs – start to work with the evolving model of real-time social television instead of around it.
This is a guest post by TweetReach Pro customer and all-around smart guy Evan Hamilton, Community Manager at UserVoice.
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending the Lithium Network Conference. I heard a lot of great talks by leaders in community. But the most interesting speech was by Chris Blandy, SVP of Digital Media at FOX. He said something that stood out to me (paraphrased):
We’ve traditionally been a B2B company, but in the social media ere we’re having to become a B2C company. It’s a huge, important shift for us.
Here’s the thing: traditional broadcast media has always been a B2C business. Sure, you’re selling ads to businesses. That’s how you make money. But in order to do that, you have to make a successful B2C product: a network of television shows people want to watch.
It’s understandable that this has been unclear. When FOX launched they were only the FOURTH broadcast television network. Sure, they had to compete on programming, but only with three other networks. They could put a show on, and as long as it didn’t tank, they could focus on courting advertisers and making sure the content matched what they wanted, in content and format.
Today there are more than 20 broadcast television networks… not to mention lots of cable networks and web content. And their fans are audible, filling social networks, blogs, and fan sites with comments about the network. The entertainment industry can no longer assume they will have viewers. They need to focus on the real customers they always had: the viewers.
To FOX’s credit, they seem to be refocusing wholeheartedly. Chris used American Idol as the prime example of this. They’re building social spaces for fans to chat (one of the top posts on the forum is a criticism of a judge’s harsh words to an Idol contestant). They’re also building opportunities for their fans to continue to consume content, even between broadcasts, such as their live Twitter Q&A sessions with former Idol stars. And, in a big move for a company that would normally rely on Nielsen ratings, they’re measuring social media buzz while an event is on air (and off) and bringing that into their decision-making process.
But let’s be clear: it’s not about social making customers suddenly important. They’ve always been important. But as relative monopolies disappear and it becomes harder to hide from what they’re saying, broadcast media going to have to focus on their viewers with more intensity. This means not only listening, but acting on their feedback and keeping the relationship going beyond the 1-hour time slot. If you can master this, the advertisers will come.
Evan Hamilton is Community Manager at UserVoice, makers of modern, easy, web-based customer service help desk software. He writes frequently about focusing on your customers on the UserVoice blog. When he finds free time, he plays rollicking americana music at Kicking Tuesday.
The 84th annual Academy Awards were held this weekend. As we’ve seen in years past, Twitter has a lot to say about the Academy Award winners, losers (non-winning nominees?), and the show in general.
This year, we tracked tweets about the Oscars – more than 2 million of them - throughout the show’s broadcast on Sunday, February 26, 2012, and collected them in our Academy Awards Twitter Explorer. Click around the explorer to see when tweets were posted about nominees in six of the main categories, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress. Or, read on for our take on what Twitter thought of the 2012 Academy Awards.
Twitter’s top ten favorite Oscar 2012 moments were, in order:
- Cirque du Soleil performance. The audience seemed entranced by the acrobatic dancers, and so did Twitter.
- Octavia Spencer wins Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Help. She even got a standing ovation!
- Hugo wins for Best Visual Effects. And a bunch of other awards too, but this category generated the most tweets.
- Meryl Streep wins Best Actress for The Iron Lady. This is a bit of surprise, as many expected Viola Davis to win this category. Regardless, Meryl is lovely and thanks her hairdresser.
- The Artist wins Best Picture. No surprise whatsoever here. And everyone loves Uggie the dog.
- Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell present Best Original Song award to Bret McKenzie for The Muppets. Bret’s work in Flight of the Conchords makes him popular on Twitter. Not to mention, Zach and Will are pretty funny guys.
- Christopher Plummer wins Best Supporting Actor. At 82, he’s only two years younger than the Oscars themselves.
- Jennifer Lopez and her possible wardrobe malfunction. Was that a shadow or something else? Twitter seems to think it was not a shadow.
- Jean Dujardin wins Best Actor for The Artist. Another unsurprising win. Jean seems tickled to have won, and thanks the audience in French during his speech.
- Angelina Jolie presents Best Adapted Screenplay to The Descendants. Angie’s provocative pose and its subsequent imitation by Jim Rash (another Twitter favorite because of his role on Community) got a big laugh.
During the three-hour awards show, we tracked 2.05 million tweets about the Oscars, with the biggest spike at 18,718 tweets in one minute (during the Cirque du Soleil performance). These numbers are up quite a bit from last year, when the 2011 Oscars garnered 1.27 million tweets and a maximum spike of 11,780 tweets per minute.
The nominees with the most Twitter mentions during the show were:
- Meryl Streep – 74,793 tweets
- Octavia Spencer – 59,957
- Christopher Plummer – 41,107
- Jean Dujardin – 23,614
- Rooney Mara – 23,233
- Brad Pitt – 18,702
- Viola Davis – 17,651
- Woody Allen – 14,280
- George Clooney – 13,252
- Martin Scorsese – 11,328
The top three films nominated for Best Picture, by tweet volume:
- Hugo – 110,179 tweets
- The Artist – 78,509
- The Help – 23,585
For more information about our interactive explorer, read this blog post about how and what we tracked.
Up next in our series of posts about what Twitter can tell us about new fall TV is an analysis of the most recent show to premiere, ABC’s Once Upon a Time. What did Twitter think of ABC’s new fairy tale drama? Let’s find out!
One of the last shows to premiere this fall season, Once Upon a Time aired for the first time on Sunday. Its premiere episode got really great ratings, garnering 12.8 million viewers and scoring a 3.9 rating in the desired 18-49 demo. To put that in context, TV|Line writes:
Once‘s tallies represent almost double what Extreme Makeover: Home Edition last did in the Sundays-at-8 slot. In fact, it’s ABC’s biggest audience in the time period with regular programming since March 2008 and its best 18-49 performance there in three years.
So, according to traditional TV audience ratings, the premiere of Once Upon a Time was a huge success for ABC. But what did the Twitterverse think? Were the Twitter ratings as high as the Nielsen ratings?
On Sunday, October 23, 2011 (the day of the first episode’s premier), 14,353 tweets about the show from 12,033 different people generated a reach of 6.55 million. Those are terrific numbers, with lots and lots of unique contributors, a healthy tweet volume, and an impressive reach. For comparison, here are the numbers for the premieres of two similar ABC shows (all three are hour-long dramas).
While Pan Am generated nearly twice as many tweets as Once Upon a Time on its first day, those tweets were posted by a smaller group of people and generated a much smaller reach. Revenge, which has already been picked up for a full season on ABC, generated fewer tweets, but had a very large reach. The size of both the contributor pool and the audience for those contributors’ tweets (as measured by reach) can tell us a great deal about a show’s popularity, particularly if we watch how these metrics trend over time. Take these graphs for recent tweets about ABC’s Pan Am and Revenge, showing tweets from 9/14 through 10/22, encompassing the first five episodes of both shows.
The spiky green graph represents tweet volume by day for each show, with large spikes on the day the show airs on television. The blue area represents weekly reach for each show. While the scales for the two shows differ, you can see a steady and alarming decline in both reach and tweet volume for Pan Am, after some initial interest during the first two shows. In contrast, Revenge seems to be picking up steam recently and is settling in to a solid pattern. (Note that reach plummets for both graphs on the right because the current week has just started, so weekly reach data is incomplete.)
But back to Once Upon a Time. Sure, the metrics for its first show look good, but what do the tweets about it actually say? Here are a few of the most-retweeted tweets.
Generally, most tweets with any opinion included a similar positive sentiment. It’s still very, very early – the show only premiered yesterday – but these tweets are definitely a good start. And of course, not everyone loved the show. Below are a few examples of less-than-glowing reviews. But even most of the popular negative sentiment tweets weren’t really all that negative, which is certainly a good sign (compare that to tweets about the now-canceled Playboy Club, which saw lots of highly negative tweets).
So, we’ll keep an eye on this show as it finds its footing in ABC’s Sunday night lineup. It’s still way too early to decide if this show will eventually get the axe or not, but based on early reactions, I predict that ABC will keep it around, at least for now (and based on that graph above, it’s probably safe to bet that Pan Am will be canceled soon). We’ll see how both shows do over the next few weeks.
Did you watch Once Upon a Time? What did you think?
By now you’ve probably seen one of our posts about this season’s new fall TV shows. For a few weeks, we’ve been using TweetReach to track tweets about all 25 new shows (we’re down to 22 now), and using the tweets to try to predict which ones will be canceled. And we thought it would be fun to bring a guest blogger who knows even more about TV than we do to help make predictions.
So, welcome Adam Rucker to the TweetReach blog! Adam’s been blogging and making videos about TV and pop culture for a long time. He’s even appeared on TV a few times. Here on our blog, Adam will sharing some of his – and Twitter’s – thoughts on new fall shows. And if you like what you see here, you can find Adam on Twitter at @ruckermore, on his YouTube channel, and on his blog.
This week, Adam takes on FOX’s new show, Terra Nova. Will it be canceled? Let’s see what Adam thinks!
One of the biggest bets of the fall season is the one FOX took on its new sci-fi series Terra Nova. The show, which begins in the year 2149, stars Jason O’Mara as the head of a family that travels 75 million years into the past to live amongst the dinosaurs in “Terra Nova.”
The premise of the show is exciting in nature: super director Steven Spielberg produces the time-traveling mix of Lost, Jurassic Park, and Avatar. It’s also the most expensive new show in production this year with a pilot that cost a rumored $20 million to create and subsequent episodes that cost around $4 million each.
Unlike most shows, FOX ordered 13 episodes of Terra Nova when the original pilot was greenlit, meaning it’s unlikely that FOX will pull the plug on the show before it shows all the episodes it’s already paid for. Still, it is the viewer response to these episodes that will determine if FOX decides to continue pouring money into its investment or fill Terra Nova’s valuable Monday night time slot with another spinoff of Hell’s Kitchen starring Gordon Ramsay.
So what is the Twitter world saying about the big budget drama? In its first week on the air, Terra Nova generated nearly 90,000 tweets from more than 50,000 contributors reaching about 18.2 million people, which is nearly 10 million more than reached the recently cancelled Playboy Club (12K tweets from 9K contributors, with a reach of 8.6 million). Interestingly, the several weeks since the premiere haven’t generated much more attention for the show. In total, 111,000 tweets have reached 20.7 million pairs of eyes. But the attention doesn’t mean anything if it’s bad attention.
A look at the top four highest exposure tweets includes three from Entertainment Weekly linking to articles on the show, but number four is a simple review from English television host, Jonathan Ross:
This tweet was retweeted 111 times, reaching even further beyond @wossy’s own 1.2 million followers.
A tweet by E!’s television critic, Kristin Dos Santos, mocking the show’s inferiority to one of her favorites, Lost, reached her 73,000 followers and was retweeted 28 times.
Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of the show either. Despite the big bucks spent on production, it came off as cheap and even cheesy in some parts.
But to be fair, not all of the Twitterverse had bad things to say about the show. Drew Carey’s positive review went out to his 627,000 followers and gained a spot as one of the highest exposure tweets about the show.
But what does it all mean anyway? For an expensive show like Terra Nova, my guess is a lot. A thumbs up or thumbs down from any one of these influential tweeters could very easily result in the loss or gain of hundreds of thousands (or in some cases, millions) of viewers. While various reports show that Terra Nova’s ratings have been “respectable,” there’s no getting around the fact that it is up against some stiff competition, including ABC’s ratings behemoth, Dancing with the Stars.
It just depends on what FOX executives are looking for. The network recently picked up its new comedy series, New Girl starring Zooey Deschanel, for a full season. While the budget of this good-natured, apartment-based comedy is probably a tenth of Terra Nova’s (and also generated far fewer tweets and tweeters), New Girl has reached nearly two million more Twitter users during its time on the air.
There’s still time for Terra Nova (at least 10 more episodes), but my guess is that, unless it gains a devoted following (quickly), FOX is going to stop paying the bills and its 13th episode will probably be its last.
Do you think Terra Nova is headed for extinction? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
This week, NBC announced that it’s canceling both The Playboy Club and Free Agents. So, our question is, did the tweet numbers predict this? The answer is a resounding yes in the case of Free Agents, but in the case of The Playboy Club, the answer is slightly less obvious.
In its first week on the air, The Playboy Club garnered more than 12K tweets from 9K contributors, generating a reach of more than 8.6 million. And during the last three weeks, there have been more than 36K tweets posted about the show. These are not insignificant numbers; The Playboy Club consistently fell in the middle of our rankings based on volume, reach and contributors. But the picture looks less rosy when we dig into some of the tweets about the show and who’s posting them.
@HughHefner and other Playboy-affiliated accounts drove much of the conversation about the show. Hefner tweeted 30 times in three weeks about it, generating 22% of all tweet impressions about The Playboy Club. Other popular tweets called The Playboy Club a poor imitation of Mad Men and made jokes about not watching it. More than 8K tweets were posted the day the show was canceled, making it the highest volume day so far for the show. That’s probably not a good sign – more people talked about the show being canceled than the show’s premiere.
As for Free Agents, it was one of the three shows we discussed last week as a sure bet for early cancellation. It didn’t receive much attention on Twitter, only generating 8,900 total tweets over three weeks. And the little conversation it did spark was pretty lukewarm – no one seemed to love it and no one seemed to hate it – and even the cast seemed to sense the show would be canceled. Here’s a tweet from the show’s leading actor, @HankAzaria:
So, really, no surprises there. And now we wonder, what show will be canceled next? Will it be FOX’s big and boring Terra Nova? Some of the quieter CBS shows like A Gifted Man or Unforgettable? Or will it be one of CW’s relative duds like H8R or Ringer? We’ll know soon, and we’ll keep you posted.
So far, 20 of this fall’s 25 new network shows have aired. We’ve been tracking tweets about all 25 shows for more than two weeks and today it’s time to check in with our data and see how the shows are doing. I’m going to take my first guesses at which new shows will be cancelled this season, based on a few of our standard quantitative TweetReach metrics. A few caveats before we begin, however…
First, since these shows premiered and air at different times, these initial metrics will be somewhat biased towards the shows that began the earliest in the season. In the next few weeks, this advantage will disappear, but for now, take these numbers with a grain or two of salt. Consider them directional indicators for now. And I’m not including stats for the five shows that haven’t aired at the time of posting. Second, different networks have different audience and revenue expectations from their shows. So just because one show has a smaller reach does not mean it’s less successful than a show with a larger reach on a different network or targeted to a different audience. Finally, this week’s predictions are based on numbers only – we’ll get into the more qualitative and content-based data next week. A terrible show can still generate nearly as much conversation on Twitter as a really good one, and we’ll sort out some of those distinctions in future posts.
So, on to the predictions! I’m going to try a few different models this week to get started. I’ll update these predictions next week when we have more data.
Cancel the lowest performing show on each network, based on reach:
- ABC – Suburgatory* (14.1M)
- CBS – A Gifted Man (3.0M)
- CW – Ringer (6.0M)
- FOX – Terra Nova (16.5M)
- NBC – Free Agents (3.3M)
*ABC still has three shows yet to air, so any of them could take over the lead in this position. Also, Suburgatory premiered just last night, so it could easily catch up to its peers in the next week or two.
Cancel the overall lowest performers, based on tweet volume:
1. CW – H8R (1K tweets)
2. CBS – A Gifted Man (3K tweets)
3 (tie). CW – Ringer, NBC – Free Agents, NBC – Prime Suspect (5K tweets)
4. CBS – Unforgettable (6K tweets)
5. ABC – Suburgatory (8K tweets)
Cancel the shows with the fewest people talking about them, based on unique contributors:
1. CW – H8R (<1K)
2. CBS – A Gifted Man (2K)
3 (tie). CW – Ringer (3K), NBC – Free Agents (3K)
4. NBC – Prime Suspect (4K)
5. ABC – Suburgatory (6K)
6. NBC – Whitney (7K)
Based on these three lists, I’d consider A Gifted Man, Free Agents, and Ringer pretty sure bets for cancellation. They show up in all three categories. (I’m giving Suburgatory one more week before we count it out, since it just started yesterday and the others have had more time to generate conversation.) And it’s not looking good for H8R or Prime Suspect either.
Finally, since I’d hate to end this post without saying something about the shows that are doing well on Twitter, here’s a few stats about some of the top performing shows.
The top five shows that seem safe, based on highest reach:
- X Factor (37.3M)
- New Girl (21.5M)
- Charlie’s Angels (19.6M)
- Revenge (17.3M)
- Terra Nova (16.5)**
**While Terra Nova is FOX’s lowest performing show so far (it’s competing against the X Factor and New Girl), it still has a higher reach than most of the other shows.
The top five shows that seem safe, based on unique contributors:
- FOX – X Factor (73K)
- FOX – New Girl (40K)
- FOX – Terra Nova (37K)
- ABC – Revenge (26K)
- ABC – Pan Am (25K)
We just learned that FOX’s New Girl was picked up for a full season. Based on the tweets, that seems like a good choice. It’s also looking pretty good for NBC’s Up All Night, CW’s The Secret Circle and Hart of Dixie, and CBS’ 2 Broke Girls, but I wouldn’t count my predictive chickens before they hatch. We’ll see what the tweets can tell us after another week of these shows.
So, what do you think? Have you seen any of these shows? Do these lists ring true with your experience? Tell us which shows you think will be cancelled (or picked up) in the comments.
Until next week, happy watching!
At TweetReach, we’ve tracked a lot of tweets about television, from special events like the Oscars, the Golden Globes and the Super Bowl, to regular weekly episodes of many of your favorite shows. That’s because we (and our customers) know that Twitter can tell us a lot about what an audience thinks about a show, from how much viewers tweet about a show, to when they tweet about it, to what they actually tweet about. There’s a lot we can learn about a TV program’s success just by analyzing the tweets about it.
So we thought it would be fun to track this fall’s 25 new shows on the five big broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC) to see what Twitter thinks about them. But we’re not content to just rank Twitter’s favorite shows. Oh no. Inspired by the New York Times’ Fall TV Season Ratings Pool and based on Twitter chatter, we’re going to predict what new fall shows will be canceled.
Want to play along? Leave your predictions in the comments. Which new shows do you think will be canceled? Or, even better, which new shows do you wish they’d cancel?
We’ll be posting throughout the fall with our updates, predictions and conclusions (and maybe we’ll even feature some special guests along the way!). For reference, here’s a list of the new fall shows, ordered by network.
- Charlie’s Angels
- Last Man Standing
- Man Up
- Once Upon a Time
- Pan Am
- 2 Broke Girls
- A Gifted Man
- How to Be a Gentleman
- Person of Internet
- Hart of Dixie
- The Secret Circle
- New Girl
- Terra Nova
- X Factor
- Free Agents
- Prime Suspect
- The Playboy Club
- Up All Night
We worked with ESPN to measure Twitter’s reaction to this year’s X Games 17, held in Los Angeles, California from July 28-31, 2011. Hundreds of athletes from 17 countries competed in sports like skateboarding, motocross, BMX and rally car racing. And over the four days of the X Games, 97,200 people tweeted 188,813 times, generating an impressive reach of 37.7 million*.
How’d they do it?
“Our goal going in was to make the event as social as possible,” says Mick Kelleher, Associate Manager of Multimedia Content Strategy for the X Games. This was a big, integrated effort combining all the ESPN teams responsible for producing the X Games. The TV production team showed the #xgames hashtag frequently during the telecast, included athlete Twitter accounts in on-screen bios as well as showing athlete tweets on air. The social team used the @XGames Twitter account to keep their followers on Twitter up to date on all the events. The social integration even went all the way to the event site, where they encouraged fans attending the Games to tweet.
ESPN used TweetReach Pro Trackers to comprehensively track and analyze all mentions of the X Games on Twitter for the week leading up to the event and during the event itself. As you can see below, the strong results of their social strategy speak for themselves.
The most retweeted tweet about the games was from @LilTunechi, which received 905 retweets and generated more than 3 million impressions.
One of the biggest stories to come out of this year’s X Games concerned Travis Pastrana, who broke his ankle and leg in the Moto X Best Trick competition on Thursday, but later competed – and placed fourth – in the RallyCross final on Sunday.
We analyzed tweets about several events in detail, including Moto X Best Trick, Skateboarding Big Air, BMX Park Freestyle, Rally Car Racing, Skateboard Street, and RallyCross. At one point during the RallyCross final, viewers noticed something strange; 200 people tweeted that they spotted The Stig from Top Gear walk behind Brian Deegan during an interview. Here are the big moments from one our favorite X Games 17 days. Click the image for the full size version.
Congrats to all the athletes who competed this year! Thank you for an exciting and action-packed four days at X Games 17.