More TV viewing by people social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus has resulted in a surge of social-media conversations about the shows that are being watched, according to Nielsen.
The volume of TV and COVID-19 related conversations on Twitter reached 9 million since the start of 2020 in the U.S. Nielsen said that between January and March, volume rose to 40 times the previous rate.
“As more consumers shelter in their homes, they’re turning to social media to pass the time. And audiences have a lot to say about the new TV, streaming, and movie options at their fingertips. Despite there being a relatively consistent number of programs on air year over year, we’re seeing a sizable jump in social media activity across most TV genres,” Nielsen said in a blog post.
The biggest increases in social buzz were for talk and news programs, family movies and all streaming services.
Children's and family movies saw a 588% increase in social media activity compared to the same time frame last year.
Nielsen said that the overlap in social TV audiences provides a way to identify and keep track of what social sports fans are watching and talking about.
“Sports networks and brands can look to the large footprint of social affinity data between sports fans and other TV programming to identify where to place ads in the absence of live sports content,” according to the blog post. “Nielsen data shows that sports fans are flocking to sports adjacent documentaries across the board, as well as comedies,”
Those documentaries were the most engaged with content on social for fans of 4 out of 5 of the analysts sports leagues.
Nielsen looked at the shows fans of particular leagues were talking about.
For NBA fans, the conversations were about Food Network’s Man v. Food, NBC's The Wall and The CW’s DC’sLegends of Tomorrow.
NASCAR Cup fans talked about A&E’s Live PD, Wanted, Fox Business Network’s America World Together and Fox’s Last Man Standing.
NHL hockey fans were talking about Man v. Food, Paramount Network’s Bar Rescue, and Fox News Channel’s The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton.
MLB baseball fans like Man v. Food, Fox Business Network’s Cavuto: Coast to Coast and Fox Business Network’s Making Money with Charles Payne.
The streaming shows sports viewers like include Last Chance U with NBA fans, Medal of Honor for NASCAR fans, Hulu’s LetterKenny for hockey buffs, Last Chance U for baseball fans and Sunderland ‘Til I Die for MLS soccer fans.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.