Advanced Television

Virgin Media Hotlist measures TV buzz

June 13, 2013

Dr-WhoVirgin Media has unveiled The Hotlist, a new measurement tool that provides an alternative view on TV engagement. The Hotlist sorts the most viewed and talked about shows into an out- of-ten ranking to uncover the most talked about shows on TV.

To calculate what’s hot on the box Virgin Media has created a new algorithm – verified by experts at the London School of Economics – which measures social chatter as well as live TV, catch up, on demand and recorded viewing.

The Hotlist has been developed to provide alternative insights into the full connected digital entertainment experience enjoyed by people today. Starting with established viewing figures, The Hotlist goes on to analyse viewing in different ways, such as recordings stored on the set-top box, as well as social media interaction covering both sentiment and engagement as conversations take place across major social networks.

Key findings in May include:
* Graham Norton’s Friday night talk hit the top ranking alongside BGT largely due to the huge success of Will Smith and his son Jaden’s appearance which was watched by over 11 million fans on YouTube
* Eurovision also scored highly, showing Brits are still interested in the infamous competition
* One surprise result was the high ranking of ITV crime drama The Ice Cream Girls which has received high viewing figures and positive social media response, despite mixed reviews from critics
* Television Awards drew in 6.2 million viewers to watch Olivia Coleman’s double award winning night
* May was a big month for event TV, with The British Academy Television Awards, The FA Cup Final and The Eurovision Song Contest making it into the top ten

Nick Forward, director of TV at Virgin Media, said, “The Hotlist looks to capture that buzz and provide insight into what’s hot on TV right now.”

Chris Skinner, Professor of Statistics, London School of Economics, said, “This algorithm goes beyond standard viewing figures, to draw on new kinds of data, providing an alternate insight into the impact of TV programmes. The approach enables the strength of the audience to be measured and explored in three separate dimensions, viewing, engagement and sentiment, or for these three dimensions to be combined in a simple summary way.”

The Top 10 shows (in order) according to The HotList are:

The Graham Norton Show
Britain’s Got Talent
Doctor Who
FA Cup Final
The Voice UK
Eurovision Song Contest
The British Academy Television Awards
The Ice Cream Girls
The Apprentice
The British Soap Awards

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