NBCUniversal: Social Media Does Not Yet Boost TV Viewership

According to new research coming out of NBCUniversal, social media is not yet a “game changer” in influencing television viewing – according to traditional Nielsen metrics. NBCUniversal used its Sochi Winter Olympics data on Comcast for the study, with over 1,500 hours of coverage to sit through across both broadcast and cable television, Internet, and mobile. According to NBCU, the social media activity around the Olympic coverage paled in comparison  those who tuned in for regular prime-time coverage – on Twitter, there were 10.6m Olympic-related messages and 23m people saw tweets about the Olympics, while on Facebook 20m people posted, commented, shared, or liked something related to the Olympics, reaching a total of 150m users. Although those numbers are not stellar for such a huge, worldwide event, many have also cautioned that the data were skewed by a mass audience tuning in to the sporting event irrespective of social media input, and that for more niche dramas (like Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones) social media still plays a big role.