Can Facebook Activity Help Predict NFL TV Viewership?

Facebook is the primary second screen for NFL fans before, during and after the game, according to an analysis by Nielsen.

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Facebook is the primary second screen for National Football League fans before, during and after the game, according to an analysis by Nielsen of nine nationally broadcast NFL games in October and November.

Facebook head of global sports partnerships Dan Reed outlined Nielsen’s findings in a Facebook Media blog post, examining the relationship between the social network and television pregame, in-game and postgame.

Nielsen examined the volume of Facebook activity in the 15 minutes prior to kickoff and found that they represented a “strong estimator” of the TV audience for the first minute of those games.

According to Reed, shares and posts were the two Facebook interactions that demonstrated the strongest statistical relationship to TV viewership, particularly shares—each additional post during the 15 minutes prior to kickoff represented 250 additional viewers in the first minute, while each additional share represented 1,000.

NielsenNFLFirstMinute

Once the games were underway, Nielsen found a “positive relationship” between Facebook shares and increases in...

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