Super Bowl on Social: Twitter, Facebook Tally Records for NFL Championship Game

Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIX was the most-social NFL championship ever on both Twitter and Facebook.

But even with the down-to-the-wire finish in the New England Patriots’ defeat of the Seattle Seahawks, the contest didn’t top the most-social match from the 2014 FIFA World Cup, according to the companies.

On Feb. 1, users posted more than 28.4 million tweets over the course of #SB49 during NBC’s coverage of the game and the Katy Perry-headlined halftime show (6:20 to 10:10 p.m. ET, from kickoff through 30 minutes after time ran out). That’s up 14% from 24.9 million tweets for Super Bowl XLVIII and 24.1 million tweets in 2013.

On Facebook, more than 65 million people worldwide discussed the Super Bowl with 265 million posts, comments and likes. By comparison, during last year’s championship game, 50 million unique users on Facebook were engaged in talking about the Super Bowl.

The highest volume on Twitter for Sunday’s Super Bowl occurred when Patriots rookie Malcolm Butler intercepted a pass by Seahawks QB Russell Wilson with 20 seconds left in the game — which yielded 395,000 tweets per minute. The NFL tweeted a replay of the game-sealing pick:

The NFL’s replays of highlights, in partnership with NBC, were through the Twitter Amplify video-advertising program, with sponsors that included Draft Kings, Ford, Pizza Hut and Disney (which was promoting “Tomorrowland” in the big game).

Still, American football could not unseat soccer as the most-tweeted sporting event ever. That title is held by Germany’s 7-1 humiliation of host country Brazil in last summer’s World Cup semifinals, which notched 35.6 million tweets posted worldwide during the match. On Facebook, 66 million users were engaged with the Germany-Brazil match (though the 200 million interactions trailed this year’s Super Bowl tally).

For the Super Bowl on Twitter, the other major moments came at the final whistle (379,000 tweets per minute) and the end of Katy Perry’s halftime performance (284,000 tweets per minute).

Facebook measured peak activity for the U.S. audience, for the first time, by the number of “people per minute” who participated in the Super Bowl conversation on the service. When the Patriots had sealed the victory, 1.36 million unique “people per minute” were posting, commenting, and liking content related to the Super Bowl. Katy Perry’s “Firework” finale at halftime produced 1.02 million people-per-minute engagements on Facebook.

The most-mentioned Patriots players players on Twitter during the live telecast were Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, while the most-tweeted Seahawks players were Marshawn Lynch, Wilson and Chris Matthews.

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