Report: NBCUniversal Executive Says Social Media Doesn’t Drive TV Ratings

Among the basic assumptions behind Facebook and Twitter’s battle for second-screen dominance is that social media helps drive deeper engagement and better ratings for television content. But one television executive said there’s no evidence of such a connection. NBCUniversal’s head of research Alan Wurtzel told the Financial Times that social media is “not a game […]

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shutterstock_175336361Among the basic assumptions behind Facebook and Twitter’s battle for second-screen dominance is that social media helps drive deeper engagement and better ratings for television content.

But one television executive said there’s no evidence of such a connection. NBCUniversal’s head of research Alan Wurtzel told the Financial Times that social media is “not a game changer yet” in influencing television viewing.

Wurtzel based his claim on NBCU’s experience broadcasting 1,500 hours from the Winter Olympics in Sochi this February. Only 19% of Olympic viewers posted on social media during 18-day event, and NBC concluded that high-rated events were more likely to drive social media activity than vice versa.

“A lot of people want to show that they are on the cutting edge. One of the things that is on the cutting edge is social media,” Mr. Wurtzel said. “Why wouldn’t I want to say to you, ‘We have a potent new way in which we can drive ratings?’

But “it just isn’t true”, he added. “I am saying the emperor wears no clothes. It is what it is. These are the numbers.”



Read the full story at Ft.com.

Photo by Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

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About the author

Martin Beck
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Martin Beck was Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter from March 2014 through December 2015.

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