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Facebook Users More Tuned to Broadcast Than Cable Shows

Social service also overindexes on Hispanic programming, while news and sports are underrepresented, Trendrr study finds

Facebook users are more likely to chinwag about broadcast dramas and comedies — and less about cable, news and live sports programming — compared with TV-related chatter on Twitter and other social networks.

That’s according to a new study by research firm Trendrr, which analyzed social TV activity in the U.S. on Facebook for a one-week period in May and compared it with interactions on Twitter and two smaller social apps.

Over all, TV-related social activity on Facebook is approximately five times as large as that of all other social networks combined, according to Trendrr. That corresponds to the size of the services: Facebook has about 1.1 billion monthly active users, compared with about 200 million for Twitter.

Facebook users overindexed on broadcast TV, particularly for dramas and comedies, with seven times the activity levels on other social services. By contrast, Facebook chatter related to cable programming was 4.5 times as large.

TV news was even lower on the totem pole for Facebook, with just twice that of other social networks combined. Discussion about live television events such as sports also appear to be underrepresented. For example, Facebook interactions around an NBA playoff game between the Knicks at Pacers on ESPN registered three times the levels of other social networks combined, as measured by Trendrr.

Meanwhile, Facebook activity around Hispanic programming was significantly higher than other social networks combined. For example, Univision’s finale of “Nuestra Belleza Latina” had 12 times more activity on Facebook during the on-air window than all other social networks combined, according to Trendrr.

The study comes with the caveat that Trendrr analyzed social activity over just one week (May 13-19), and measured chatter in a six-hour window (three hours before and after a show aired). The activity tracked for Facebook included likes, comments, shares and posts.

Trendrr, a service of New York-based Wiredset, is working with Facebook on a case study of TV-related activity on the site. Eventually Trendrr hopes to begin incorporating a broad set of Facebook data into its social TV rankings charts; currently, Trendrr’s charts include a small, rate-limited sample of Facebook data.

For its part, Twitter has a pact with Nielsen under which the duo are developing a “social TV rating,” skedded to be available for the 2013-14 TV season, as a companion metric to traditional ratings.

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