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Twitter users put Canadian Olympic broadcaster on pedestal

A spectator views the men's Group A volleyball match between Italy and Poland on a mobile phone at the London 2012 Olympic Games, July 29, 2012.

Ivan Alvarado/REUTERS

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 Media Miser found 50 per cent 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.

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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.

Media Miser analyzed tweets that were sent with the hashtags #London2012, #olympics or #olympics 2012. It then sorted the 50,000 tweets that came back into two streams – one for CTV and one for NBC.

The company's software is able to determine tone, after some lessons from a human, the company said.

"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."

View the story "Canadians to CTV: We love that you're not NBC" on Storify

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