Social TV Highlights of the 2011-12 TV Season

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A look at social TV activity during the 2011-2012 television season.

Top TV Series



FOX clearly leads the way for social TV when it comes to broadcast series, owning the top three spots for average number of social media comments per new episode. The much-beloved musical series “Glee” ranks first with almost 200,000 comments per episode. Those gleeks sure love to talk in social media!



In the cable world, it should be no surprise that “Pretty Little Liars” is at the top -- Twitter even ranked it at number 1 in their 2011 Year in Review for shows that fans just can’t stop talking about. ABC Family has been working hard on social TV strategy, and it seems to be paying off. 




Top Networks



For primetime broadcast series, FOX snags number 1 with 16.8 million comments during the season. But when you add in sports and special events, the data reveals that CBS leads in social media conversation with 44.2 million comments. Given that the Grammys, NFL Football, and NCAA March Madness all aired on CBS, this increase in social chatter makes sense.



We witness the same effect with cable -- looking at TV series only, MTV wins first place by over 2 million social media comments. But add in comments about sports and special events, and TNT (with college basketball and the NBA) and ESPN jump to the top.




Setting Social TV Records



In addition to their overall success in social TV, FOX and CBS also set two big records this season.



Clocking in at 1.4 million social media comments, FOX’s series finale of “American Idol” made history as the most commented-on series episode ever.



For the 2011-12 TV season overall, CBS wins the award for the most social media comments with the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, which garnered 13 million social media posts.



It’s not just special events causing a flood of comments: compared to last year, we saw huge growth in the volume of comments about TV series season finales. 


Annual Growth Rates for Social Media Comments for Season Finales (2011-12)


The Vampire Diaries (CW) – 1,228%

Parks and Recreation (NBC) – 1,130%

Desperate Housewives (ABC) – 1,023%

How I Met Your Mother (CBS) – 800%

The Simpsons (FOX) – 1,739%



Bottom line: Social TV has grown significantly in the past year as more viewers flock to social media to discuss their favorite shows and TV events. Just a year ago an on-screen hashtag was rare. Now shows are integrating social strategy from the beginning stages, and what results is a fascinating feedback loop between viewer and content creator that keeps people talking.

The ability for Big Data to monitor social TV activity provides key insights for networks that traditional ratings fail to address. When people share, comment and discuss TV online, programmers are able to see what content “pops” the most on Facebook and Twitter. Expect even more soci

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Social TV Highlights of the 2011-12 TV Season

  1. 1. SOCIAL TV HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2011 – 2012 TV SEASON Top Season Premieres Top Season Finales #1 American Top Broadcast TV Series Top Cable TV Series #1 American Idol Idol Ranked by average number of social media Ranked by average number of social media comments per new epsiode comments per new epsiode Social Media Social Media Rank Show Network Comments Rank Show Network Comments 1 Glee 195K 1 Pretty Little Liars 192K Jan May 18 2 American Idol 152K 2 Love & Hip Hop 158K 23 518K Social Media Comments 3 The X Factor 146K 3 The Bad Girls Club 86K 1.4M Social Media Comments 4 The Voice 127K 4 Beyond Scared Straight 82K ALL TIME RECORD Male Female Most comments 32 % 68% 5 Fear Factor 94K 5 Jersey Shore 77K for any series programming Pos. Neutral Neg. episode 6 The Bachelor 69K 6 The Walking Dead 76K 28% 60% 13% WWE Monday Male Female 7 The Vampire Diaries 57K 7 69K Night Raw 31 % 69 % #2 Jersey America’s Best 8 Gossip Girl 39K 8 55K Shore Dance Crew Pos. Neutral Neg. 9 Dancing with the Stars 38K 9 Game of Thrones 53K 36% 54% 10% Jan 9 One Tree Hill 38K 10 Basketball Wives 48K #2 Pretty Little 05 Liars 410K Social Media Note: Minimum 5 new episodes to qualify for this list Note: Minimum 5 new episodes to qualify for this list Comments Mar #3 Glee Top Broadcast Top Broadcast Top Cable Networks Top Cable Networks 19 Networks (TV Series) Networks (Overall) (TV Series) (Overall) Ranked by total social Ranked by total social Ranked by total social Ranked by total social 804K Social Media Comments media comments about media comments about media comments about media comments about Sept shows on each network shows on each network shows on each network shows on each network 20 #3 The X Factor 289K Social Media Social Media Social Media Social Media Social Media Rank Network Comments Rank Network Comments Rank Network Comments Rank Network Comments Comments 1 16.8M 1 44.2M 1 10.7M 1 36.7M Dec #4 The Game 22 2 7.5M 2 42.4M 2 8.7M 2 28.6M 3 6.8M 3 35.8M 3 6.4M 3 12.2M 391K Social Media Comments Jan 4 4.4M 4 31.5M 4 6.2M 4 9.9M #4 The Voice 10 255K Social Media Comments 5 3.2M 5 7.9M 5 4.9M 5 8.6M Note: TV series in primetime Note: All TV programming, 5 4.9M 6 7.9M May only; New and repeat including special events and #5 Fear episodes both counted for sports; all dayparts 7 4.7M 7 7.7M 08 Factor* this ranking 7 4.7M 8 7.3M 370K Social Media Comments Dec 12 9 4.1M 9 6.9M #5 Glee Shows, sports, and special 218K Social Media Comments events generated 441M total 10 4.0M 10 6.6M Note: TV series in all Note: All TV programming, *Premiere part 1, social media comments during dayparts; New and repeat including special events and May “Scorpion Tales” 22 the 2011-2012 TV season. episodes both counted for sports; all dayparts this ranking 322K Social Media Comments Daily Series Programming Social Media Comments Pretty Little Liars Jersey Shore (MTV) The Bad Girls Club The Voice (NBC), Pretty Little Liars (ABC American Idol (FOX) (ABC Family) mid- season premiere (Oxygen), Love & Hip Hop Basketball Wives (VH1), Family) season finale, season finale 2.5M season premiere (VH1), and Rock Center and Pretty Little Liars along with Dancing With 2M with Brian Williams (NBC) (ABC Family) The Stars (ABC) and The combine for an active Voice (NBC) 1.5M night in social TV 1M 500K 0 Sept 19 Oct Nov Dec Jan 2012 Feb Mar Apr May 23 2011 2012 Sports and Special Events The American NFL football divisional NFL conference Super Bowl XLVI ... until its broken The Academy Special playoffs: Tebow-mania in Sports Music Awards championships: (NBC) sets a new by the Grammy Awards (ABC) Events 15M (ABC) and Eagles full swing as the Broncos Giants vs. 49ers social TV record Awards (CBS) just vs. Giants NFL play the Patriots (CBS) (FOX) and Ravens for most social one week later 12M football game and the Saints battle the vs. Patriots (CBS) comments... 9M (NBC) 49ers (FOX) 6M 3M 0 Sept 19 Oct Nov Dec Jan 2012 Feb Mar Apr May 23 2011 2012Source: Bluefin Labs, data for Sept 19, 2011 through May 23, 2012; Unless otherwise noted, data is for primetime only, new telecasts only, and series programming only (excludes special events andsports); Social Media Comments come from Twitter and public Facebook, with ~95% of the data being Tweets.

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