If you watched the big game on Sunday, there’s a good chance you spent some time at the world’s largest cyber sports pub. Twitter activity surrounding NBC’s live telecast of Super Bowl XLIX reached a new high for an American sporting event but fell short of setting a global record, according to new data from Twitter Inc.
The New England Patriots’ dramatic 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks generated more than 28.4 million Super Bowl-related tweets. That’s a 14 percent increase over last year, when the Seahawks faced the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium, an event that attracted 24.9 million tweets. Twitter’s analytics team measures Super Bowl-related activity from kickoff time through 30 minutes until after the clock expired.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Twitter activity on Sunday peaked during the final moments of the game when Malcolm Butler, a rookie defensive back for the Patriots, intercepted a pass by Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. The play took place one yard from the goal line with just 20 seconds left in the game. It helped secure a nail-biting win for the Patriots while igniting 395,000 tweets per minute, according to Twitter.
The end of Katy Perry’s halftime performance was another big moment, sparking 284,000 tweets per minute. From start to finish, the halftime show -- which also featured Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot -- generated more than 3 million tweets.
Among the most re-tweeted Twitter posts came from the players themselves, including a victory tweet from Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, which was retweeted more than 19,000 times:
New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs!!!!
â€” Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) February 2, 2015
Twitter activity around televised sports has grown steadily over the last few years. Just three years ago, the New York Giants’ 21-17 victory over the Patriots generated only 13.7 million tweets, less than half of what Sunday’s game generated.
Despite the active night, Super Bowl XLIX did not set a record for the most tweeted-about sports game. That honor goes to the FIFA World Cup semifinal match on July 8 in which Germany trounced Brazil 7-1. The embarrassing loss for the World Cup’s host country generated a staggering 35.6 million tweets, as Variety reported.
One big reason for this is the global nature of the World Cup versus the more U.S.-centric NFL. Twitter's real-time heat map of last night's tweets show just how concentrated in the U.S. the football conversation is on Twitter. Read Twitter’s full analysis for Super Bowl XLIX here.
â€” New England Patriots (@Patriots) February 2, 2015