Big Internet Numbers for Olympics are But Still a Rounding Error When Compared to Television

Categories: Internet TV

Written By

August 20th, 2008

In the latest NBC release they are touting Internet dominance by showcasing how much more engaged visitors are with for content at than Yahoo's Olympic site (eleven minutes and fifty-three seconds per person on NBC, vs. only four minutes and eighteen seconds on Yahoo. I definitely agree that engagement is key.

NBC is citing 56 million video streams producing over six million hours of video viewing. This works out to about 6.42 minutes per video stream, which is still quite impressive versus typical Internet streaming averages of less than three minutes, but down from the nine plus minutes per stream cited earlier in the Olympics.

NBC also claims that when NBC Olympics is accessed via MSN the average stay on the site is 13 minutes, but when they are watching video, the average stay is over 27 minutes, so the good news is that many people are apparently looking at more than one stream per visit.

To put the roughly 6 million hours through twelve days into perspective, last night alone and just on NBC and just between 8pm-11pm, 75 million hours was consumed. So while these numbers are great for Internet viewing and should be applauded relative to other Internet viewing, they're basically but a rounding error against all the television consumption.

Update 08/20/08 2:05p PDT: Trusted data source "Mikey" notes in the comments below that he checked the total TV viewing minutes and through last night the TV total was 107.6 billion minutes.  That compares to around 360 million minutes on the Internet which still gives TV about a 300 (~298.8) minutes of TV viewing for every one minute of Internet viewing.  For still more perspective, last night's repeat airing of NCIS has 456 million minutes, or over 26% more minutes than all U.S. internet viewing of Olympic video streams combined over 12 days.

Here's the complete release from NBC:


398% Ahead of Nearest Competitor Yahoo in Page Views and Nearly Triples Average Visit Time

Close to 42 Million Unique Users Online, Over 56 Million Video Streams, Almost 6 Million Mobile Visits

BEIJING - Aug. 20, 2008 on MSN ranks No. 1 in among all Olympics websites in total users, page views and average visit time out delivering No.2 Yahoo's site in each metric, according to the most recent available data provided by Nielsen Online for week ending 8/10/08. The multi-platform momentum grows as fans continue to tune in and log on to the Beijing Olympics in record numbers. After just 12 days, on MSN continues to set records for unique users, page views and video streams, with nearly 42 million unique users having visited the site, viewing 912 million pages and watching more than 56 million video streams.'s mobile WAP and other wireless VOD offerings continue to attract audiences like never before, attracting close to 6 million visits to date.

Key digital highlights include:

  • was the No. 1 destination among Olympics-related sites out-delivering Yahoo! Olympics by 389% in page views and eight percent in average unique users for the week ending 8/10/2008 according to data provided by Nielsen Online.'s audience consumed significantly more content, spending an average of 11:53 minutes per person on, versus only 4:18 on Yahoo. Data for week ending 8/17/08 will be available tomorrow according to Nielsen.
  • ranks No. 1 in terms of share of page views versus all Olympics-related sites since the start of the Games through Monday, Aug. 18, according to Hitwise. Users are highly engaged with, consuming more pages and spending more time there than on any other site.
    • Through Monday, Aug 18. scores the highest share of page views among Olympics-related sites, more than doubling its closest competitor, Yahoo! Olympics. has received 66.1% of all page views among all Olympic sites versus Yahoo! Olympics' 26.9%. Users are also spending more than twice as much time per visit on throughout the Games (15:50 minutes per average daily visit) than on Yahoo's Olympics section (6:49 minutes).
  • on MSN attracts close to 6 and a half million users daily, who have already watched more than 6 million hours of video content. On average, users are staying more than 13 minutes per visit and spend more than 27 minutes when consuming video. Video consumption averages 27 minutes per viewer.
  • The audience on alternative platforms skews younger and more male. Online data provided by Quantcast indicates that of the total audience, 55% are male and 30% are 18-34. On mobile, 70% of the audience is male and 42% are 18-34 years old, according to a study facilitated by MobileVerbs.
  • Video viewing remains strong. Almost 10 million users have watched over 56 million total streams so far. Compared to the ENTIRE Torino and Athens games combined, this represents a 493% and 1967% increase in streams respectively.
  • Visits to NBC Olympics Mobile WAP site has generated over 25 million page views, with users spending close to 6 minutes per visit.
  • Widgets usage has exploded in popularity, generating 200 thousand unique placements across the web and more than 70 million impressions.
  • Since the Games began, Mobile VOD subscribers watch an average of 2.5 clips apiece.
  • The most popular sports on on MSN to date are Gymnastics, Swimming, Track & Field, Basketball and Beach Volleyball.

Online statistics provided by Omniture, online demographics provided by Quantcast, widget statistics provided by Clearspring, online competitive data provided by Nielsen Online and Hitwise.

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