The Nielsen Company, which has long been (and still is) known for its metrics on television viewership, has adapted to the new technological climate and begun tracking how big of an audience certain events have on Twitter.
Brian Anthony Hernandez of Mashable.com (h/t College Football Talk) released an info-graphic from The Nielsen Company Wednesday evening that showed which TV shows, in a variety of categories, did the best job getting online users engaged over the last nine months.
And even though the NFL—predictably—had the three biggest sporting events, college football had a pretty good showing with the BCS National Championship Game at No. 4 and Iron Bowl at No. 9.
Here is the full list:
|Nielsen's Top 10 Sports Events on Twitter (since 9/1/13)|
|Audience (Mil.)||Tweets (Mil.)|
|1. Super Bowl XLVIII||15.32||25.33|
|2. NFC Championship Game||11.38||5.00|
|3. AFC Championship Game||10.86||2.49|
|4. BCS National Championship||10.40||4.39|
|5. NCAA Men's Basketball Championship||9.95||2.61|
|6. XXII Winter Olympics – Opening Ceremony||9.60||1.10|
|7. NFC Wild Card (SF at GB)||9.19||1.39|
|8. NBA All-Star Game||9.03||2.26|
|9. Alabama at Auburn||8.97||2.03|
|10. NFC Divisional Playoff (SF at CAR)||8.87||1.50|
The AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos reached a (slightly) bigger audience than the BCS National Championship Game between Florida State and Auburn, but the latter generated almost twice as many tweets with 4.39 million.
Among non-Super Bowl entities, only the NFC Championship Game between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers generated more tweets (4.96 million)—and a big part of that likely had to do with the rant Richard Sherman went on after the game:
The Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn—the only regular-season sporting event on this list—also got users engaged.
The rivalry lived up to its considerable pregame hype, ending when Auburn cornerback Chris Davis ran back a missed Alabama field goal for the game-winning touchdown as time expired:
The reaction to that historic finish—now known as "The Kick Six"—helped the Iron Bowl become one of just seven games on the list with 2 million or more tweets. The NFL Wild Card Game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers and the NBA All-Star Game both had bigger but less engaged Twitter audiences.
The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship between Connecticut and Kentucky finished fifth in total audience (9.95 million), one spot behind the BCS National Championship.
Thirty percent of the list of most-viewed sporting events since Sept. 1, 2013 were played by college athletes.
Still think they shouldn't get paid?
Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT.