Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Naveen Donthu

Second Advisor

Denish Shah

Third Advisor

Kai Zhao


Billions of US dollars in transactions occur each year between media companies and advertisers purchasing commercials on television shows to reach target demographics. This study investigates how consumer enthusiasm can be quantified (via social media posts) as an input to improve forecast models of television series premiere viewership beyond inputs that are typically used in the entertainment industry. Results support that Twitter activity (volume of tweets and retweets) is a driver of consumer viewership of unscripted programs (i.e., reality or competition shows). As such, incorporating electronic word of mouth (eWOM) into forecasting models improves accuracy for predictions of unscripted shows. Furthermore, trend analysis suggests it is possible to calculate a forecast as early as 14 days prior to the premiere date. This research also extends the Diffusion of Innovation theory and diffusion modeling by applying them in the television entertainment environment. Evidence was found supporting Rogers’s (2003) heterophilous communication, also referred to by Granovetter (1973) as “weak ties.” Further, despite a diffusion pattern that differs from other categories, entertainment consumption demonstrates evidence of a mass media (external) channel and an interpersonal eWOM (internal) channel.


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