England's Euro 2016 defeat most tweeted TV moment of the year

Excerpt from an article published in Marketing Week by Charlotte Rogers, 14 December 2016. For the full article, please click here

In a year of almost 100 million TV-related tweets, England’s loss to Iceland in the UEFA European Championship was the most tweeted about programme of 2016.

The UEFA European Championship game, screened on ITV1 on 27 June, generated 2.1 million tweets from 585,000 unique authors, over a million more tweets than the next most tweeted about sporting event, the Euros clash between England and Wales earlier in the competition.

Data supplied by Kantar Media’s Twitter TV ratings tool shows sport attracted the most tweets of any TV category in the UK this year. Between 1 January and 5 December 2016, 57.3 million tweets were authored about sport, versus 42.4 million for all other TV shows including entertainment, current affairs and drama.


Tweeting during a television programme does not mean viewers are not paying attention to the content or adverts, insists global CEO of Kantar Media, Andy Brown.

“Sometimes there are concerns about whether people’s eyes are on the screen when they’re tweeting, but generally speaking people who are tweeting have a better recall of commercials than those who don’t tweet even though their eyes are on a second screen.”

When it comes to the importance of number of tweets versus the number of impressions, Brown believes advertisers need to decide what their objectives are before targeting their programme of choice.

“If reach is important you probably look at the number of impressions. A tweet that’s been seen by millions and millions of people can be picked up and carried into traditional media,” he says.

“If you’re looking for engagement in a programme then the volume of tweets and the average number of tweets per minute is of more interest.”

Outside of sport, entertainment is by far the most tweeted about category in television, attracting 19.3 million tweets (a 50% share), followed by current affairs with 9.3 million tweets (24%) and drama with 4.2 million tweets (11%). The Kantar Media figures show children’s TV, arts and education were the three least tweeted about categories, occupying just a 0.01%, 0.05% and 0.23% share of tweets, respectively.


The Eurovision Song Contest in May was the most tweeted about one-off entertainment broadcast in 2016. Some 1.6 million tweets were written about the show by 246,000 unique authors, with Eurovision also claiming the highest number of impressions for non-sports TV at 177.9 million. Despite it being aired on the BBC, brands including Innocent, Cadbury’s and Tesco made sure they were part of the Eurovision conversation by engaging with followers on social media.

It is important to take into account that instead of talking about television programmes only during their scheduled airtime, viewers are taking to social media in anticipation of a programme airing, as well as when they catch up online, Brown notes.

For the full article published on the Marketing Week website, please click here

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