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Tim Tebow's 'Hail Mary' pass - which led to an 80-yard return - is now the biggest sporting event in Twitter history.
Tim Tebow's 'Hail Mary' pass - which led to an 80-yard return - is now the biggest sporting event in Twitter history.
Image: Jack Dempsey/AP

NFL playoff game sets new record for sporting tweets per second

Tim Tebow is rapidly gaining cult status on the sports pages – and has now managed to set a new record on Twitter too.
Jan 9th 2012, 10:16 PM 3,691 18

TWITTER’S RECORD for activity during a sports event was broken last night during an NFL playoff game.

The Denver Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers by 29 points to 23 in a remarkable play – ending the wild-card game after just 12 seconds of overtime play.

The play – and the quarterback Tim Tebow, whose Hail Mary pass led to the six-pointer – sent Twitter into meltdown, with Twitter revealing that the event had triggered a new sporting tweets-per-second record: 9,420.

That’s far more tweets than were posted about the death of Steve Jobs (6,049), the murder of Osama bin Laden (5,106) or even the Royal Wedding last April (3,966).

It’s also more than last year’s Super Bowl (4,064 per second) and the news of Beyoncé’s pregnancy (8,868).

The Hollywood Reporter adds that for the moments after the finale, the word ‘Tebow’ appeared in 6.46 per cent of all tweets posted to the site – slightly over one out of every 16 tweets posted worldwide.

Tebow’s play shatters the record for the busiest sporting occasion on the site – that record had previously been claimed by the final of the Women’s World Cup last July between the US and Japan, when an average of 7,196 tweets were posted per second.

The finale of yesterday’s game is now the second biggest event in Twitter’s history – the only event to top it was the airing of an anime movie, Castle in the Sky, on Japanese TV last month.

Japan has by far the highest per capita usage of Twitter – as evidenced by how busy the site was when that film was aired: it prompted over 25,000 tweets a second to be posted.

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Gavan Reilly

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