Viewers opted for the Web over TV to watch Curiosity’s landing
More Curiosity fans took to the Web to watch the rover’s highly anticipated landing on Mars than those tuning into cable TV.
According to Mashable, more than 3.2 million people viewed the nail-biting descent nicknamed “seven minutes of terror” via Ustream’s live streaming platform on Sunday night.
“More people tuned in to watch the NASA Mars landing coverage on Ustream than many of the top cable news networks during Sunday prime time,” Ustream spokesman Tony Riggins told Mashable.
At its height, 500,000 people were simultaneously watching the live landing on NASA’s HDTV, JPL, and JPL 2 broadcasts via Ustream. While numbers like this aren’t available for TV, Mashable cites research firm Nielsen’s ratings for the night — CNN had 426,000 viewers, MSNBC had 365,000, and Fox came in the highest with 803,000 — which overall have lower numbers than Ustream.
Besides live streaming, NASA is also engaging audiences with a Twitter stream from Curiosity. The rover has been actively tweeting and answering fan tweets since before its launch last November. As of this writing, Curiosity has 862,365 followers.
Photo Credit: (NASA)