My Kitchen Rules had strongest engagement in battle of reality TV shows on Twitter

An analysis of how My Kitchen Rules, The Block: Fans v Faves and The Biggest Loser performed on Twitter has pinpointed the areas of interest for viewers in a graph that shows the shows’ performance in the OzTam ratings has been reflected in social media.

While My Kitchen Rules won over the largest audience, with some 1.6m viewers for the first episode on Seven in the 7.30pm timeslot on Monday, research by QUT’s Centre for Creative Industries and Innovation shows My Kitchen Rules (MKR) was not only the most-watched, but also the show most engaged with on social media.

Biggest Loser vs The Block vs My Kitchen Rules

“Our Twitter excitement index shows people are engaging with the content because something is provoking a large group of people to tweet at the same time,” said Darryl Woodford, a postdoctoral research fellow with the Centre.

“It gives the networks a raft of information and gives them the ability to see which particular moments of the show people connect with, and whether they were excited or annoyed by it.”

As the three shows ranked first, second and third in the timeslot on Monday, they also ranked in that order according to Twitter activity.

Data collected by Woodford and his colleague Kate Guy shows the first episode of MKR generated 67.8 per cent of activity from unique tweeters, compared with 26.5 per cent for Nine’s The Block and 5.7 per cent for The Biggest Loser on Ten.

Woodford said this correlates with the OzTam ratings as My Kitchen Rules appeared to hold 60 per cent of metro viewers while The Block had 27 per cent and The Biggest Loser had 13 per cent of the audience at 7.30pm.

He also found that around a quarter of the people who tweeted about The Biggest Loser during its premiere one week earlier had also tweeted about one of the other shows when they were launched on Monday night.

Reality TV episodes graphIn a further assessment of how popular reality shows premieres and finales performed on social media the Big Brother Australia finale of 2013 generated by far the most tweets:

Reality TV premieres and finales“In general the Big Brother nominations and eviction shows rank quite highly. They’re always going to drive more engagement because it’s event television,” Woodford said.

He and his team are now building their Australian data to branch into activity stirred by non-reality shows such as The Big Bang Theory. Through their research of the US market they found sitcoms that regularly rate highly are not producing activity on social media and Woodford  is curious to find out if this will be the same in Australia.

“In the US Twitter is such a small proportion of the overall audience and we want to see is whether that holds true for Australia,” he said.

Further research will look at whether the airing of shows in different time zones will affect the Twitter conversation, as it has in the US, where there is less activity on Twitter if the show has aired earlier in another time zone.

The Twitter excitement index

Megan Reynolds



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