TV Ratings: Movie Awards Stumble on MTV -- Even as Kudos Thrive Online

The annual film salute, hosted by Conan O'Brien, drops by 1 million viewers -- while its Twitter mentions surge and outperform "Game of Thrones" by nearly 1,000 percent.
AP Images/Invision
Conan O'Brien at the MTV Movie Awards

The connection between Twitter and TV ratings is still quite tenuous. Six months into Nielsen's Social Guide, it's clear that a surge in tweets does not equate to a surge in ratings -- at least where the MTV Movie Awards are concerned.

Sunday's 8 p.m. telecast on MTV clocked in at 2.8 million viewers -- a 27 percent drop from last year's showing. Meanwhile, the show produced almost as many tweets: 2.4 million. That marked a 36 percent improvement from the previous years' tweets, per MTV. 

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The 1-million-viewer drop for the Movie Awards is not all bad. The loss for the primary telecast was compensated by a steady showing overall. Across encores and simulcasts on Viacom sister networks, the Movie Awards grossed 4.8 million viewers -- dead even with the prior year's cumulative audience.

Whether the Movie Awards' social dominance is a win for Twitter or MTV is up for debate, but the kudos topped all other TV series for the week with an absurd 132.4 million impressions.

And there was plenty of competition for attention that night. The Movie Awards went head-to-head with Mad Men (a respectable 10.3 million Twitter impressions) and Game of Thrones (25 million). The HBO drama, still an exceptionally social show by any standard, was eclipsed by the Movie Awards in gross tweets by nearly 1,000 percent. On the tube, it clocked a near-record 6.3 million viewers.

Ratings are obviously a moot point for the premium pay cable net, but HBO is likely a bit more pleased with its audience than MTV is with its tweets.