You've probably noticed that we've been running charticles over the past couple of months using data generated exclusively for Advertising Age by Bluefin Labs, a company whose co-founder and CEO, Deb Roy, Ph.D., is director of the Cognitive Machines Group at the MIT Media Lab. (The most recent installment: "Watching TV While Gulping Mountain Dew: A Fascinating Look at the Shows Dewheads Tweet About Most.") Cambridge, Mass.-based Bluefin's expertise is in providing brands, agencies and media companies with real-time TV-audience response insights through social-media analysis.
Today's chart is pretty straightforward -- but still eye-opening. It shows the top 30 (American) TV shows of the year so far in terms of social-media response (mostly on Twitter and Facebook); the "Response Level" is Bluefin's proprietary scoring system.
We've highlighted sports broadcasts in green to make a basic point: As much as everyone talks about the Twittery triumph of certain high-profile TV series, sports broadcasts are massively social.
Bluefin's Tom Thai points out that "Sporting events such as the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, Wimbledon and the Indianapolis Derby all beat out social-TV darlings 'American Idol' and 'True Blood.'" And sports broadcasts actually crowded out some Twitter favorites you might otherwise expect to see in a top-30 list, including "Single Ladies" and "So You Think You Can Dance."
"Even a workhorse type of sports program like 'SportsCenter'," Thai adds, "can garner very high social-TV ratings ." Though the iconic ESPN news show doesn't make the year-to-date Top 30 cut, it scored a recent Bluefin Response Level peak of 6.84 -- which put it in the range of shows like "Gossip Girl" (with an average 6.86 RL) and "Project Runway" (6.90 RL).
Stay tuned to AdAge.com for more data from Bluefin Labs.
For more about Bluefin, visit their website.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.