Nothing gets people talking – and posting, commenting and sharing – like sports, judging by new data from social benchmarking and analytics outfit Shareablee, showing ESPN way ahead of other big broadcast and cable networks in social engagement in January. To determine the rankings, Shareablee analyzed a total of 684 million social actions over the course of the month across platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube (the latter figure doesn’t include views).
Overall, ESPN generated 153.1 million social actions across the platforms, compared to 47.9 million for Freeform (previously ABC Family), 46.5 million for NBC, 39.8 million for ABC, 36.6 million for Telemundo, and 36.5 million for MTV. A bit further down the totem pole, Fox Sports generated 33.4 million social actions, Fox News 30.4 million, E! 28 million and Univision 27.8 million.
In terms of engagement across specific platforms, ESPN was number one on Facebook, with a total of 35.5 million actions in January, as well as Twitter, with 13.1 million actions, and Instagram with a whopping 104.5 million actions. Its dominance was due in part to strong social amplification, with eight million shares and retweets across Facebook and Twitter.
For comparison, on Facebook NBC generated 33.6 million actions, ABC 32 million, Telemundo 30.9 million, and Fox Sports 30.2 million. On Twitter MTV took second place with four million actions, followed by NBC at 3.3 million, ABC at three million, and Freeform with 2.4 million actions.
NBC was the number one TV network on YouTube, with 2.3 million actions aside from views, followed by CBS with 2.1 million actions. In the news category Fox News led the way, and generated 5.5 billion Facebook impressions (distinct from actions). MTV led on Tumblr.
Turning to programs, "ESPN SportsCenter" was the clear winner, with 88.8 million social actions, followed by "Pretty Little Liars" on Freeform, with 37.4 million actions; "Teen Wolf" on MTV, with 14.7 million actions; "Good Morning America" on ABC, with nine million actions; and the "Today Show" on NBC, with 7.1 million actions.