Featured, Soccer

Twitter universe goes loco over Spain’s victory in EuroCup

Not only did Spain make history with its second consecutive European Championships title with a victory over Italy on Sunday, it also caused Twitter mayhem.

The social networking site reported a mind-blowing 15,358 tweets per second just after the moment Juan Mata scored the fourth goal in the 88th minute of Spain’s 4-0 win over the Italians.

That’s a tremendous amount of text messages going on throughout the world over a sport many Americans deem insignificant.

A blog on Twitter reported a total of 16.5 million tweets worldwide during the match, a sports-related record for the site.

Que immenso.

The previous high for the sports world came during the final three minutes of the New York Giants’ victory over the New England Patriots in the 2012 Super Bowl when 12,233 tweets per second were recorded. This topped an earlier record set during another soccer event – the 2011 Women’s World Cup — when 7,196 tweets per second happened in Japan’s victory over the U.S.on penalty kicks following a 2-2 draw.

That “other” football also kicked some serious arse in terms of TV ratings when an astronomical 90 percent of Spanish viewers tuned in to watch the national team defeat Italy4-0 Sunday for a history-making title in the European Championships title match. The victory was Spain’s third major tournament title in a row, including back-to-back EuroCup championships sandwiched around the 2010 World Cup crown.

A just-as-impressive 50 percent of the viewing audience across the continent also witnessed the game on television.

In Italy, 22.47 million viewers watched their national team’s defeat on free and payTV for an 81.7 percent share across the country.Italy’s remarkable run through the EuroCup, highlighted by the play of Mario Balotelli and Andrea Pirlo, stimulated their fans with an average of 9.1 million viewers – 42 percent share – watching every match over the three-week tournament.

By comparison, the Super Bowl played between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants had an average of 111.3 million total viewers tune in for some parts of NBC’s coverage, according to Nielsen.  NBC estimated that 177 million viewers (more than 56 percent of theU.S.population) watched at least six minutes of the game, according to an industry press release.

The 2012 NFC Championship Game on FOX between the New York Giants and theSan Francisco49ers delivered 30.6/44 national rating/share according to the Nielsen Media Research group. The epic overtime battle won by the Giants had an average of 57.6 million viewers tune in at some point during the game, ranking as the third most-watched Conference Championship game ever. The 1982 Cowboys-49ers NFC Championship game had 68.7 million viewers on CBS and the 2010 overtime thriller between the Vikings and the Saints received 57.9 million viewers on FOX.

While the ratings for America’s most popular televised sport continues to rise with record numbers over the past three years, much of the attention during the Super Bowl coverage was affixed on other elements, including the buzz about high-priced ads during commercial breaks and the halftime show performance by Madonna.

The second greatest influx of Super Bowl-related tweets came during Madonna’s song-and-dance routine, according to the social media site.

Soccer fans, on the other hand, concentrated most of their watching behavior on the game with a peak of 17.9 million viewers tuning into the broadcast on Telecinco to see Spanish striker Fernando Torres score the team’s third goal.  An average of 15.5 million, an 83.4 percent share, watched the entire game. That marks a record for a regulation 90 minute match broadcast on Spanish TV but lagged behind the 18.1 million that saw Spain’s Euro 2012 semi-final game against Portugal, which went into overtime and ended with a penalty shoot-out. A peak of 19 million Spaniards watched that match, an all-time television audience record for the territory.

Just for context, Spain has a population of roughly 47 million people; Italyhas approximately 60 million; and the current population of the United States is a little over 311 million. So, feel free to do the math in relation to the ratio of viewers to actual population of each country (I’d take care of it for you, but considering the U.S. ranks somewhere around 25th to 32nd in the world in math skills, depending on what survey you analyze, I figure you all need some work.)

Finally, as a side note, the tweets-per-second record occurred on December 13, 2011 when a little more than 25,000 tweets per second were registered during a Japanese TV screening of a movie called Castle in the Sky.

Could the 2012 Olympics in London beginning on July 27th provide more tweet-crazed records?