SOURCE: The Nielsen Company

January 14, 2008 16:57 ET

Monday Morning "Chatterbacking" on Simpson/Romo Relationship Up Significantly in Wake of Dallas Loss to Giants

"Stop Blaming Jessica" for Cowboy Fumble, Many Fans Insist

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 14, 2008) - Online buzz around Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo and singer/actress Jessica Simpson is up dramatically in the wake of Dallas' 21-17 loss to the NY Giants in yesterday's playoff game, Nielsen Online reported today.

The relationship between Romo and Simpson has been a hot topic on the blogosphere lately and not only for sport enthusiasts. Conversations are being posted to sites like weightwatchers.com, sitcomsonline.com and democraticunderground.com, making this a highly contagious conversation piece. To no surprise, some fans have blamed Romo's game performance on distractions from his celebrity girlfriend. Since last night's game, the number of messages posted to blogs about the two teams increased 300% since the mid November game when Dallas defeated the Giants in the NFC game, much of it fueled by fixation about Romo and Simpson.

"A common trend we see after a big loss is what we call 'Monday Morning Chatterbacking' in which online fans look for culprits or scapegoats. Fair or unfair, there is always a great deal of finger-pointing, and the Romo/Simpson relationship is certainly top of mind with fans," said Pete Blackshaw, executive vice president of Nielsen Online Strategic Services and project manager for Nielsen's 2008 Super Bowl monitoring program.

"Virtually every aspect of this relationship has been analyzed, dissected, debated, and critiqued by highly engaged football fans," said Blackshaw. "Even Cabo San Lucas as a 'strength-gathering' vacation spot has been vigorously picked apart!"

Blackshaw also noted that certain blogs like TMZ.com have seen unusually high engagement around the issue. The TMZ.com site includes a poll in which more than 100,000 consumers offered their assessment of the issue.

Other Super Bowl-related discussions online include buzz around commercials and the game's halftime show performer, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. As in past years, total blog buzz around the Super Bowl is expected to continue building, and peak the day after the game.

Nielsen Online Super Bowl Syndicated Report

Nielsen's Super Bowl monitoring program includes everything from analysis of ads to the celebrities who star in the ads or the halftime show. Key components of this year's program include:

--  Real-time analysis of messages and opinions expressed across nearly 70
    million blogs, message boards, online communities, video sharing sites, and
    sport-enthusiast sites. Buzz will be analyzed by volume, emotion,
    favorability, specific issue and penetration among influential consumers.
    
--  Comprehensive video analysis, including videos that appear on MySpace.
    
--  Survey Findings to supplement analysis of online buzz with custom
    online surveys fielded before and after the game. In the weeks leading up
    to the game, surveys will determine the most anticipated advertisers and
    commercials. Post-game surveys will gauge if commercials live up to pre-
    game buzz.
    
--  Analysis of real-time user reviews posted to Hey! Nielsen, Nielsen's
    experimental online social network.
    

About Nielsen Online

Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, delivers comprehensive, independent measurement and analysis of online audiences, advertising, video, consumer-generated media, word of mouth, commerce and consumer behavior, and includes products previously marketed under the Nielsen//NetRatings and Nielsen BuzzMetrics brands. With high quality, technology-driven products and services, Nielsen Online enables clients to make informed business decisions regarding their Internet, digital and marketing strategies. For more information, please visit www.nielsen-online.com.

About The Nielsen Company:

The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions in marketing information (ACNielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), online intelligence (NetRatings and BuzzMetrics), trade shows and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and New York, USA. For more information, please visit, www.nielsen.com.

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