Like you, I’m one the hundred of millions to have followed Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt’s stunning performances during those three Olympic weeks. Between them, 11 gold medals and 10 world records in these games. Seriously, I don’t think we’ll see this happen again in the next decades.
So, question: “Who receives the biggest check?”
None of them actually. As the Olympics are closing on this Sunday, 24th, what we are really going to remember is that Digital gets Gold. And those performances helped Internet to get its biggest hits in the entire sports history.
Today one of the NBC commentators said that
“Millions were watching these Olympics on their mobile or online.”
Officials at NBC have claimed “phenomenal” ratings for its digital coverage of the Beijing Olympics, with on-demand web-TV and mobile content.
Looking at the figures of NBCOlympics.com (partnering with MSN)
“has set records for uniques, page views and streams. It attracts an average of more than 6 million users daily, who stay close to 15 minutes per visit and spend 20 minutes when watching video” – NBC.
One GREAT news for Visa, Exxon, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and blablabla!!! And for the Phelps’s fans: Phelp’s profile is at the top in visits at NBCOlympics.com. This guy has also his own Facebook page, Amen!
Back to the serious stuff. Gary Zenkel, the president of NBC Olympics said in a statement:
“These record numbers validate our multiplatform strategy. They drive viewers to share in the Olympic experience on network television in record numbers,”; “And as a result of this unprecedented digital effort, consumers have a destination to watch thousands of hours of video and relive the great moments of these Olympics.” – NBC Universal, Inc.
NBC measured having “half a million unique visitors everyday on mobile, about half of which are accessing mobile for the first time. We see significant growth. We basically doubled our uniques two weeks after the day of the opening ceremonies (8/8).” – Washington Post
Great, I guess Gary is happy of his ROI. To remind the readers, NBC closed a deal at $1.5 billion for the exclusive rights of the 2006 Winter Games and 2008 Summer Olympics.
However, we now know Internet was a huge “stunning” success. But what happened to our old TV (or LCD TV for the luckiest)? TV still has vast majority of the viewing, but its share dropped from 95% to 92% as the volume of online viewing grew.
Research president for NBC Universal, said “the ratings are well ahead of the Athens games in 2004 and confirmed that the 2008 Beijing Olympics are the most viewed ever, with 114 million US viewers – NBCOlympics.com“. That makes +3.6% versus Athens’ 04.
So Online is taking a few market share from TV. But does it mean Online’s content is cannibalizing TV’s?
“No, no, no!” says NBC’s research. Indeed, with only 0.2% of its audience using the web only. I don’t see that happening. I’d rather assume that TV creates some interest and drives the audience to the Digital platform (computer or mobile). Most of this audience looking for some replays after missing an action or they have no other place to watch the games but from their workstation!
After the Olympics, it will be interesting to evaluate if people will continue to use their mobile more often as a multimedia platform. And this will also for sure depend on the amount of content available.
Photo courtesy of It’s el BOFO!!!!