'X Factor' U.K., 'Downton Abbey' Draw Big Twitter Crowd for ITV

The Simon Cowell music competition and the period drama this weekend attracted more online activity than BBC hit show "Stricly Come Dancing."

LONDON - U.K. media observers have made much of this fall's Saturday night TV battle between ITV's X Factor and the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

While they were about even in the TV ratings, X Factor handily won the showdown in terms of Twitter activity this past Saturday. And hit drama Downton Abbey came in second in terms of Twitter buzz.

Amid the celebrity dance show's season debut, Strictly and X Factor were finally both on the schedule for Saturday night, although not opposite each other, and both had something to celebrate in terms of ratings. As reported, Strictly drew a bigger peak audience, but X Factor won out in terms of average TV viewership.

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When it comes to social media buzz, the X Factor drew a total of 104,898 tweets during its Saturday broadcast and the 30 minutes before and after, according to research firm SecondSync. At its peak, the Simon Cowell show drew 2,423 tweets per minute, its data shows. Overall, that meant a social media share of 30.63 percent, the highest of the night, according to the data.

By comparison, Strictly was mentioned in 33,496 tweets earlier in the night, with a peak of 775. That meant a 9.78 percent social media share, or the second spot for the evening. On Sunday, X Factor reached 4,499 tweets per minute at its peak for a total 187,466 tweets and a social media share of 46.77 percent, according to SecondSync.

Downton Abbey, which followed it on ITV1, reached, 2,476 and 52,127, respectively, for a 13 percent share. That meant the second rank for the night and edged out Strictly the night before.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai