Canadians are far happier with their Olympic television experience than Americans, according to an analysis of Twitter comments in the early days of the London Games.
Ottawa-based media monitoring company MediaMiser found 50 percent of the tweets referencing CTV - the main broadcaster in Canada’s Olympic Consortium – were positive in the first three days of competition. The rest were negative (28 per cent) or neutral (22 per cent).
The network has made an unprecedented amount of coverage available to its viewers, with more than 5,000 hours available on televisions, phones, tablets and computers.
That stands in sharp contrast to NBC, the largest broadcaster in the United States and sole rights holder in that country. It has faced harsh criticism for its decision to run the Games on tape delay so it can have them on during prime time, although it is allowing viewers to stream the Games online in real time.
NBC-related Tweets have been 83 per cent negative, 11 per cent neutral and 6 per cent positive.
The company’s software is able to determine tone, after some lessons from a human.
“Our auto-toning engine uses human guidance and machine learning to learn which tweets are positive, neutral and negative about a given topic,” spokesman Jim Donnelly said. “The engine is first ‘trained’ by a human and then deployed as tweets are collected.”
The company deliberately avoided any tweets that were tagged #NBCfail, which has gained prominence in the last few days as viewers vent their frustration at the network's missteps. It felt including them would skew the results because the users were biased.
- For more on Twitter and the Olympics, see the Folio in today's Globe and Mail by Josh O'Kane.