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Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Nielsen conducted its first social media ratings study that includes data from Twitter and Facebook to find which shows got the most social media attention. The top picks were obvious choices like the Super Bowl and the Grammy Awards (besting the Oscars) and surprises like "The Walking Dead."Why it matters: Ratings ≠ social engagement. TV measurement is going to have to change to account for the role digital plays in television consumption and expanding television's reach to different audiences, instead of totally eating it. "The Walking Dead," for example, was by far the most viral TV show on social media, but was only the 8th most watched show on live television over the last TV season. Similarly, some of the most watched shows in primetime, like NCIS, (which ranked third in ratings), didn't crack the top 10 for social engagement.

Entertainment:

  1. The Walking Dead (AMC): 2,028,000 total interactions
  2. Empire (FOX): 860,000
  3. The Bachelor (ABC): 453,000
  4. This is Us (NBC): 436,000
  5. Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta (VH1): 406,000

Specials:

  1. The 59th Annual Grammy Awards (CBS): 27,600,000 total interactions
  2. The Oscars (ABC): 22,086,000
  3. Golden Globe Awards (NBC): 10,100,000
  4. Billboard Music Awards (ABC): 5,346,000
  5. Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve (ABC): 3,575,000

Sports:

  1. Super Bowl LI: New England vs.Atlanta (2/5): 190,780,000 total interactions
  2. NFL: Green Bay at Dallas (1/15): 52,878,000
  3. NFL: Green Bay Packers at AtlantaFalcons (1/22): 26,431,000
  4. NFL: Pittsburgh at New England (1/22): 24,349,000
  5. MLB: Los Angeles at Chicago Cubs (10/22): 21,520,000

Go deeper

China deems all cryptocurrency transactions illegal

A person walking past China's central bank in Beijing in August 2007. Photo: Teh Eng Koon/AFP via Getty Images

China's central bank declared on Friday that all cryptocurrencies are illegal, banning crypto-related transactions and cryptocurrency mining, according to Reuters.

Why it matters: China's government is now following through with its goal of cracking down on unofficial virtual currencies, which it has said are a financial, social and national security risk and a contributor to global warming.

Biden's big bet backfires

Two key dealmakers — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) — leave a luncheon in the Capitol yesterday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/L.A. Times via Getty Images

President Biden bit off too much, too fast in trying to ram through what would be the largest social expansion in American history, top Democrats privately say.

Why it matters: At the time Biden proposed it, he had his mind set on a transformational accomplishment that would put him in the pantheon of FDR and JFK.

Biden sinks in swing districts

Photo: Biden speaks about wild fires and climate change in Sacramento on September 13, 2021. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/ AFP via Getty Images

Sudden doubts about President Biden's competence — on Afghanistan, immigration and COVID — are driving double-digit drops in his approval in private polling in swing House seats, The Cook Political Report's Amy Walter writes.

Why it matters: "[T]hese early mistakes go directly to the very rationale of his presidency; that it would be low drama and high competence."