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Tops of 2014: Social TV

3 minute read | December 2014

If social media is the new water cooler, U.S. viewers certainly had their share of “let’s discuss” moments in 2014. From someone kind of getting devoured by an anaconda to the U.S. Men’s World Cup soccer squad trying to make a go of it to, well, zombies, there’s no shortage of Twitter activity during programs—and even in the days after.

This year, given the myriad social TV conversations taking place 24/7, Nielsen ranked the top series, special event telecasts and top sports events across Twitter. Nielsen also revealed the most-Tweeted-about minute in each category. After all, those OMG occasions often act as calls to action, prompting viewers to take to Twitter, and reminding fans who may have missed an episode to catch up in the days to come.

For the second year in a row, AMC had a show that topped our series list. The Walking Dead, in all its undead glory, had an average of nearly 5 million people seeing at least one Tweet about each new episode of the program. There was clearly a lot to talk about, as people sent an average of 576,000 Tweets about each episode.

2014 Top 10 Series on Twitter

Rank Program Network Average Audience (000) Average Tweets (000)
1 The Walking Dead AMC 4,934 576
2 The Bachelor ABC 3,842 215
3 Pretty Little Liars ABC Family 3,807 489
4 American Horror Story: Freak Show FX 3,607 357
5 Game of Thrones HBO 3,507 159
6 Teen Wolf MTV 2,631 383
7 Scandal ABC 2,574 391
8 The Bachelorette ABC 2,410 104
9 The Voice NBC 2,063 236
10 Dancing With the Stars ABC 1,895 109
Source: Nielsen

The most-Tweeted TV series minute of 2014: The Voice (NBC), which garnered 310K Tweets at 8:59 p.m. EST on May 13, 2014.

2014 Top 10 Specials on Twitter

Rank Program Date Network Audience (000) Tweets (000)
1 The Oscars 03/02/14 ABC 13,924 11,163
2 The 56th Annual Grammy Awards 01/26/14 CBS 12,825 13,779
3 2014 MTV Video Music Awards 08/24/14 MTV 10,890 12,644
4 The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards 01/12/14 NBC 10,437 2,359
5 2014 American Music Awards 11/23/14 ABC 10,265 5,651
6 2014 Billboard Music Awards 05/18/14 ABC 10,179 5,450
7 The BET Awards 2014 06/29/14 BET 9,302 10,891
8 2014 MTV Movie Awards 04/13/14 MTV 9,100 2,411
9 State of the Union 2014 01/28/14 TV Event 8,798 2,088
10 The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards 08/25/14 NBC 8,763 1,102
Source: Nielsen

The most-Tweeted special event minute of 2014: The Oscars (ABC), which garnered 203K Tweets at 10:07 p.m. EST on March 2, 2014.

2014 Top 10 Sports Events on Twitter

Rank Program Sports Event Date Network Audience (000) Tweets (000)
1 Super Bowl XLVIII Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks 02/02/14 FOX*, FOX Deportes 15,318 25,328
2 2014 FIFA World Cup Round of 16: Belgium vs. United States 07/01/14 ESPN*, ESPN Deportes, Univision, Univision Deportes 12,399 4,692
3 2014 FIFA World Cup Final: Germany vs. Argentina 07/13/14 ABC*, Univision, Univision Deportes 11,936 4,927
4 2014 FIFA World Cup Group G: United States vs. Germany 06/26/14 ESPN*, Univision, Univision Deportes 11,459 2,537
5 NFL Football NFC Championship: San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks 01/19/14 FOX*, FOX Deportes 11,383 4,957
6 2014 FIFA World Cup First Semifinal: Brazil vs. Germany 07/08/14 ESPN*, Univision, Univision Deportes 11,203 5,682
7 2014 FIFA World Cup Group G: Ghana vs. United States 06/16/14 ESPN*, ESPN Deportes, Univision, Univision Deportes 11,162 3,115
8 2014 FIFA World Cup Group G: United States vs. Portugal 06/22/14 ESPN*, ESPN Deportes, Univision, Univision Deportes 11,013 3,629
9 NFL Football AFC Championship: New England Patriots at Denver Broncos 01/19/14 CBS 10,863 2,492
10 2014 Vizio BCS National Championship Auburn vs. Florida State 01/06/14 ESPN*, ESPN Deportes 10,404 4,392
Source: Nielsen

The most-Tweeted sports event minute of 2014: Super Bowl XLVIII (FOX), which garnered 301K Tweets at 10:00 p.m. EST on Feb. 2, 2014.


Source: Nielsen. Data from 1/1/2014-11/30/2014. Nielsen Social captures relevant Tweets in the U.S. 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, Series, and Specials include those on Broadcast and National Cable Networks only. Sports Events and Specials are across all day parts and are ranked by Unique Audience for each individual telecast. Series include new/live primetime and late fringe programming only and are ranked by Average Unique Audience across New/Live episodes during the time period. For multicast Sports Events, networks are listed alphabetically and metrics reflect the highest Unique Audience across all airing networks, denoted with an asterisk. Data does not include airings from 6/13/14-6/15/14; reach metrics are unavailable for those dates.

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