Fans Flock Online For Olympic Coverage

    August 19, 2008

With the first week of the 2008 Beijing Olympics completed, Nielsen Online has released a report on how fans around the globe used the Internet to follow the games.

Fans in 10 countries visited, the official web site of Beijing games, at a rate of 930,000 per day, with traffic surpassing one million unique visitors on a number of days, as they searched for Olympic results, news and video.

2008 Beijing Olympics

 Two Olympic broadcast partner web sites, NBC in the U.S. and Terra in Brazil attracted a large amount of traffic to video content. Daily traffic to NBC’s video section averaged more than 1.5 million unique visitors, spiking on Monday, August 11, to over two million unique visitors.

Traffic within Brazil to the Olympics video section of Terra averaged 119,000 unique visitors per day, with above average traffic during the opening weekend.

"With the first ‘online Olympics’ in progress, the Internet has removed barriers related to international time zones, as fans have 24/7 access to updated Olympics content and video," said Jon Gibs, vice president, media analytics, Nielsen Online.

"Local, regional and global Web sites are benefiting, and with English, French, Spanish and Chinese versions, is a popular destination for Internet users around the world."

Online traffic in host country China indicated strong interest in the games. ChinaRank, a large-scale Web site ranking platform, showed data that revealed more than one-quarter of China’s online users visited Olympics- related content on a daily basis. There was an average of 65.8 million unique browsers tracked daily, and viewed more than 4.6 billion Olympics related pages during the week.

Within in China, traffic to the official site,, averaged 1.5 million unique browsers per day. American swimmer Michael Phelps appeared in the top 10 most searched Olympic terms during the week, as fans in China followed Phelps’ pursuit to win eight Olympic gold medals.

"Michael Phelps is clearly the global story of these games," said Gibs. "Online news, information and video have allowed fans from all over the world to follow his record-breaking performances and watch history in the making."