Super Bowl XLVIII was the most watched television event in United States history, according to Fox and Nielsen, with a reported average audience 111.5 million people. The Seattle Seahawks' 43-8 spanking of the Denver Broncos broke the previous record held by NBC for Super Bowl XLVI, when the Giants beat the Patriots for the second time.
Not only did Super Bowl XLVIII break traditional television records, it did pretty gangbusters on social media, too. Nielsen reports that 15.3 million people followed the game on Twitter, leading to “1.8 billion Twitter TV impressions throughout the night.” That’s billion with a b.
Check out Nielsen SocialGuide's graph of tweets per minute during the game, broken down by “Game and Halftime Conversation” and “Brand Conversation” – meaning those TV commercials people sometimes like to talk about the day after the game.
Twitter activity for the game itself peaked with Percy Harvin’s kick-return for a touchdown to start the second half, but matching that was Esurance’s #EsuranceSave30 promotion, which generated nearly 2 million Tweets alone, 301,400 of which came during a one-minute period at 10 p.m.
Esurance was, by far, the most talked about brand on Twitter, with Budweiser, T-Mobile H&M, and the latest Transformers movie rounding out the top five.
Manning can’t be too pleased that 111.5 million people watched the greatest offense in NFL history collapse at the first sign of a stringent defense, but as they say, there’s always next year.