2008 Olympics – the digital Games

By the final day of the Games, US network NBC Universal,had reached a total of 214 million viewers with its Beijing Olympic coverage. The broadcaster said that it’s website, nbcolympics.com had recorded 1.3 billion page views, 53 million unique users, 75.5million video streams, and approximately 10 million hours of video consumed.

In Europe, over 30 EBU broadcasters offered Olympic content on their respective websites, complemented by the EBU aggregated live video portal www.eurovisionsports.tv/olympics, which delivered over 180 million broadband video streams, primarily generated by live event viewing to a unique audience of over 51 million, with a cumulative total of over 22 million hours viewed.

In China, over the 17 days of the Olympic Games, 153 million people watched live broadcast of the Olympic Games online, with 237 million watching video-on-demand footage and an average 20 million page views per day on the mobile phone platform provided by CCTV.com.

In Latin America, rights holder Terra made 13 online channels available to allow subscribers to choose which events to watch with over 300 hours of available action from all competitions. Terra’s Olympic site registered 29 million video streams and over 10 million video-on-demand downloads over the period of the Games.

In Australia, since the Games began, over 32 million page views have been seen by over 2.3 million users, with more than 4 million live and on-demand videos streams watched on Yahoo!7 Olympics.

IOC Director of Television and Marketing Services, Timo Lumme, said “Through our partners the IOC has successfully offered quality online coverage to sports fans around the world with record results. The depth and breadth of iconic sporting action which the Olympic Games can offer makes our event well suited to the digital age. In Beijing, over 5,000 hours of footage has been produced by the host broadcaster and our media partners have made an unprecedented amount of this coverage available online. The Beijing Games have proved that online broadcast has been complementary to television ratings, with record figures across both media platforms. Sports lovers have clearly been relishing having different options available to enjoy the action”.

The IOC said that the 2008 Games represented the first time that digital media coverage of the event was widely available throughout the world from websites of official rights holders. The exclusive rights of official Olympic new media platforms were protected by a sophisticated anti-piracy campaign, overseen by the IOC, which successfully contained online piracy of Beijing 2008 footage to minimal levels.