Social Media vs. Television Ratings

Posted on March 1, 2011

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This awards’ season, the big television networks are enlisting the help of a rather influencial new friend to possibly boost their progam ratings. And that friend is social media.

When the program is actually good, like the Grammy’s a couple weekends ago, then social media can certainly help, with people tweeting and live chatting and generally creating an instant word of mouth that gets more people to tune and in and the Grammy’s their highest ratings in a decade.

However, and this is a BIG however, when the program has even the tiniest bad start, this “everyone gets to be a critic” phenomenom can absolutely cripple a program– just like the Academy Awards this past weekend.

In the video, you can see people tweeting and live chatting during the program and with the Oscar’s ratings down 12 percent, you can see how even a few negative comments can snowball on the Internet to no viewership. Granted, the program wasn’t all that great to begin with.

So this begs the question: can social media really control television ratings today? Maybe shows who are waning like American Idol can cash in on this idea. But, will the tweets make it or break it? I’ll let you decide.

Editor’s Note: American Idol goes live tonight and is launching online voting. See? What did I tell ya?

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Posted in: My thoughts