Multiplatform Super Bowl breaks Twitter, broadcast records
Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 07-02-2012
This year's Super Bowl became the most-watched television event in US history, with an average audience of 111.3 million gathered to watch the New York Giants' 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots.
NBC's ratings for the game, according to Nielsen, beat last year's Green Bay-Pittsburgh contest by the size of a small city: 300,000 more viewers.
This is the third year in a row that the Super Bowl has set the US TV viewing record. For a very long time, the series finale of M*A*S*H*, which drew a record 106 million viewers in 1983, reigned as most-watched event, until the New Orleans Saints took football victory from the Indianapolis Colts in a historic match-up between two almost-undefeated teams in 2009.
The advertisers got their money's worth as well: the 5 Feb. telecast from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis claimed a 40.5 rating among the desirable 18-to-49 demographic, which was the best global turnout in 16 years.
And while it's too early to get the results from the NFL's live streaming of the event for the first time online and via Verizon Wireless, early indicators show that the multiplatform strategy appears to have positively impacted the event's results.
For one, mobile devices originated a full 41% of all searches related to Super Bowl ads made during the game, according to Google. The most popular search term? Madonna.
"This was the first year that the Super Bowl was live streamed, and there was a significant spike in searches related to Super Bowl live streaming on game day," the Google blog noted.
"Searches peaked at kickoff, and were made predominantly on desktop, followed by mobile phones and then tablets."
The game also dominated the social updates on Twitter and Facebook. Social analytics company Bluefin Labs said that Super Bowl XLVI was the biggest social TV event on record, surpassing the previous record holder (the 2011 MTV VMAs) in terms of comments.
Twitter generated more than 12,000 tweets per second during the final tense three minutes of the game. Meanwhile, Madonna, aided by an unwelcome middle finger from singer M.I.A., hit 10,000 tweets per second during her much-talked about halftime performance.
About 15 million tweets total were posted during the game, a five-fold increase from last year.