How Facebook is driving users to watch more sports on TV

New York, Feb 4 (IANS) As the world gets ready to watch Super Bowl coming Sunday, a new Facebook study has revealed that the volume of Facebook shares and posts from its users 15 minutes prior to Super Bowl kickoff helped increase more first-minute TV viewership.

“We believe that fan engagement and content sharing at this scale, distributed to millions more via friend networks on Facebook, drives awareness and tune-in for live sports broadcasts,” Dan Reed, Facebook’s head of global sports partnerships, was quoted as saying in a variety.com report.

An increase of one Post within the 15-minute period before the game correlated to nearly 250 additional TV viewers in the first minute while an additional Share correlated to 1,000 viewers in the same time frame, the study noted.

In addition, Facebook shares and posts correlated with subsequent increases in TV viewership.

The findings of the Facebook-funded Nielsen study comes as the social networking giant has launched Sports Stadium — a dedicated place to experience sports in real time with your friends and the world.

In Facebook Sports Stadium, you can see posts from your friends and their comments on plays as well as enjoy commentary from teams, leagues and journalists with easy access to their Facebook Pages.

You can follow the action as the game unfolds with a live play-by-play, and even like, comment on, and share individual plays.

You can also get up to speed quickly with live scores and the most discussed plays.

“With 650 million sports fans, Facebook is the world’s largest stadium. People already turn to Facebook to celebrate, commiserate, and talk trash with their friends and other fans,” wrote Steve Kafka, product manager, in a Facebook Post.

With Facebook Sports Stadium, it may be tough for Sports Twitter to keep up as Twitter has only 320 million monthly users.

“Now we’ve built a place devoted to sports so you can get the feeling you’re watching the game with your friends even when you are not together,” Kafka added.

With Facebook Sports Stadium, all the content on Facebook related to the game is at one place and it comes in real time and appears chronologically.

“It’s a second-screen experience that we hope makes watching the broadcast even better,” Kafka said.

Nielsen has tied up with Facebook to expand Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings to include Facebook’s topic data in the new Nielsen Social Content Ratings measuring activity related to TV and over-the-top video content.

According to Facebook, nearly 65 million unique users shared about last year’s Super Bowl, making it one of the most-discussed sporting events in 2015 globally.

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