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It would appear that the 'new' measurement system from Nielsen and Twitter is not tallying up when it comes to matching traditional ratings according to a recent article in Variety:
And one thing is immediately clear: There is practically no overlap between the most-tweeted shows on TV and the highest-rated shows.
...But the divergence between the top shows Americans actually watch on TV and what they talk about on Twitter illustrates that there is not a strong correlation, today, between the two mediums. Only one show, two airings of NBC’s “The Voice,” appear in both top 10 rankings.
Here are the top 10 most-tweeted shows for the week of Sept. 23 to 29, according to the Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, ranked by the total unique users on Twitter who are estimated to have seen a tweet related to the show:
1. AMC, “Breaking Bad,” 9.28 million
2. NBC, “The Voice” (Monday), 3.84 million
3. ABC, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (Thursday), 3.40 million
4. ABC, “Dancing with the Stars,” 3.20 million
5. ESPN, “SEC Storied,” 2.93 million
6. ABC, “Grey’s Anatomy,” 2.84 million
7. NBC, “The Voice” (Tuesday), 2.77 million
8. Fox, “Glee,” 2.73 million
9. CBS, “How I Met Your Mother,” 2.55 million
10. Fox, “The X Factor,” 2.09 million
And here are the top 10 shows in primetime for the same period, as measured by Nielsen:
1. NBC, “NFL Football: New England at Atlanta,” 20.49 million
2. CBS, “The Big Bang Theory” (Thursday, 8:31 p.m.), 20.44 million
3. CBS, “NCIS,” 20.02 million
4. CBS, “The Big Bang Theory” (Thursday, 8 p.m.), 18.99 million
5. CBS, “NCIS: Los Angeles,” 16.35 million
6. CBS, “The Crazy Ones,” 15.52 million
7. NBC, “Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” 15.26 million
8. NBC, “The Voice” (Monday), 14.98 million
9. NBC, “The Voice” (Tuesday), 14.35 million
10. ESPN, “NFL Football: Oakland at Denver,” 13.92 million
From the NYTs:
Only 98,600 people wrote messages on Twitter about the two-hour season premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy” last month. That’s a tiny fraction of the 9.3 million who, according to Nielsen, watched the show that night.
...Some networks may question Nielsen’s methodology, especially since a TV-related post is said to be viewed whenever it is loaded on the Web or whenever it shows up on screen, however briefly, on a mobile device.
More generally, skepticism abounds about how representative Twitter chatter is — or isn't.
“What people often lose sight of is the fact that the overwhelming majority of conversations about TV shows still take place offline,” said Ed Keller, the chief executive of the Keller Fay Group, a market research firm that specializes in word of mouth and supplies data to networks like CBS.
Bottom line? Two huge problems. One... no more than 20 percent (and that is being generous) of viewers are active Twitter users. Two, internationalization - where are the tweets coming from? Canada? USA? Europe? Can they filter well enough to actually prove that the data is even American?