Some 3.9 million viewers checked in to the made-for-TV movie -- more than twice that of the initial original movie’s 1.4 million. Nice numbers for a cable TV event.
But there were also over 1 billion related tweets -- according to Syfy. Nielsen Twitter TV metrics said the movie generated 581,000 tweets written by 188,000 unique authors, read by 5.5 million people, and generating a total of 67.2 million Twitter TV impressions.
A billion or 67.2 million? Ah, what’s a few hundred million of anything these days?
So how do you extrapolate the value? Tweets aren’t equal to TV viewership -- though one might feel that Twitter readers and authors are heavily engaged.
On the same night of “Sharknado,” seven broadcast network shows posted better overall viewership numbers -- the top three being NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” (10.6 million viewers); CBS’ “Big Brother” (6.49 million); and a rerun of NBC’s “Talent” earlier in the evening (6.29 million).
The original episodes of “Talent” and “Brother” each pulled 2.78 million 18-49 viewers; “Sharknado 2” had 1.6 million. But you can be sure those big shows didn’t post a billion tweets. In any case, they were out-tweeted by “Sharknado 2.” Nielsen said “Talent” pulled in 2.4 million Twitter TV impressions and “Big Brother” 6.8 million compared to “Sharknado 2”’s 67 million.
Of course, the big issue is what those tweets mean in terms of real money for Syfy -- or Twitter, for that matter. Going forward, networks will be keenly interested in accounting for that value, in addition to ramping up TV advertising pricing.
What isn’t accounted for with this nice summer surprise are some of the intangibles such as all that press and publicity for the Syfy franchise a year ago (and much more this time around) as well as for the Syfy network itself.
Perhaps we need to add more metrics -- maybe a billion more -- for advertisers and brands -- to give us a picture of what kind of bite any TV show has these days. Not just big data, but bigger and more foggy comparisons await us.