Olympic Audiences Still Prefer Yahoo Over NBC

    August 21, 2008

We’ve seen several upsets thanks to the Summer Games, and they haven’t all involved athletes.  NBC, for example, seems to have lost to Yahoo in the competition for online audiences.

NBC’s Olympics-related sites maintained a shrinking traffic advantage between August 8th and August 10th, according to Nielsen.  August 11th marked a turnaround that put Yahoo in the lead, and although the two corporations’ audiences have been similar in size since then, Jerry Yang’s company has stayed in front.

Yahoo olympics
 Yahoo Maintaining Lead With Olympic Audiences

Nielsen’s figures only continue through August 18th, but let’s assume Yahoo’s winning streak lasts through the 24th.  Considering that NBC paid for exclusive broadcast rights, and Yahoo isn’t the richest or most popular tech company in the world, many will see this as a big "new media" victory.  The concept of tape delays will get dinged, too.

On a smaller scale, Yahoo may be able to attract new advertisers and charge them more, and the company’s shareholders and remaining employees will get a much-needed morale boost.

Admittedly, there’s a chance NBC will take the lead again in the Summer Games’ last days; official sources are likely to have the best videos of the closing ceremony.  Either way, though, Yahoo’s had a Usain Bolt-like run, and the effects of its success may be somewhat far-reaching.