Olympic Websites Traffic Soars After Opening Ceremony

Posted on September 20, 2000

Nielsen//NetRatings, an Internet audience measurement service from Nielsen Media Research, ACNielsen eRatings.com and NetRatings, Inc. reports that Olympic fever has hit the Internet, as daily traffic spiked in Nielsen//NetRatings' Olympic Index. Leading the way in the TV and broadcast category was NBCOlympics.com, which jumped 159 percent to 433,000 unique visitors at home from the day of the opening ceremony to Saturday.

Allen Weiner, vice president of analytical services at NetRatings, says in a statement, "By far the top site in the U.S. for pure Olympics coverage is NBC's Olympics site. This shows the relationship between TV and the Web, especially for this tape-delayed event. People are using the Web to find out the latest scores and then decide which events they will want to watch later on TV. NBC also benefits from the huge cross-promotion of its website on both its TV broadcasts as well as that from MSNBC and CNBC."

Saturday was the biggest day for Olympics Web activity over the weekend, as seen in Table 1. Traffic to several categories spiked, with the official Olympic Web sites collectively rising 137 percent over the weekend for the U.S. home audience. Leading the way was the official website, Olympics.com, which jumped 152 percent to nearly 222,000 unique visitors from Friday to Saturday, according to Nielsen//NetRatings' Overnight Analysis.

Table 1. Nielsen//NetRatings Olympics Index, Change in Daily Unique Audience

Categories 15-Sep 16-Sep % Change from Fri.-Sat.
TV/Broadcast 166,956 432,908 159.3%
Official Olympic Sites 94,646 224,040 136.7%
Portal 275,022 445,602 62.0%
Sports 273,711 415,695 51.9%
News and Information 175,255 192,498 9.8%
TOTAL 902,829 1,494,503 65.5%

Note: This index is comprised of representative Olympic sites for each category, and acts as a barometer for gauging the level of interest for Olympic information. Source: Nielsen//NetRatings Overnight Analysis, September 2000

Globally, the official websites vaulted to the top for the most page views with NBCOlympics.com and Olympics.com leading the charge. On Sunday NBCOlympics.com registered 5.9 million page views worldwide, while Olympics.com came in second, with 4.3 million page views across the globe (see Table 2).

Table 2. Nielsen//NetRatings Olympics-related domains ranked by page views for September 17

Rank Web domain Page Views
1 nbcolympics.com 5.88 million
2 olympics.com 4.34 million
3 sports.yahoo.com 3.17 million
4 sportsillustrated.cnn.com 2.13 million
5 sports.yahoo.co.jp 1.71 million
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings Overnight Analysis, September 2000

The portal category increased 62 percent from Friday to Saturday, as U.S. home Internet users interested in seeing the results in real-time clicked their way through up-to-date event results.

``In the battle of old media versus new media, the portals are winning the war. This makes sense as fans look for a quick and reliable place to find up-to-date event results. Given the time zone difference, speed is one of the portals' value propositions,'' said Weiner.