In 1995, when the media rights to the Beijing Games were awarded, NBC could not have imagined millions of live video streams of sporting events, but the company ensured it would own all video rights to the events, protecting its content no matter what technologies emerged.
NBCOlympics.com served up more than 1.2 billion pages and 72 million video streams through Saturday, more than doubling the combined traffic to its site during the 2004 Games in Athens and the 2006 Games in Turin, notes C/Net. NBC’s most popular video from Beijing, with 2.3 million views, was the United States swimming team’s 4×100 relay on August 11 featuring Michael Phelps’ second gold medal win.
The popularity of the site will very likely make digital rights more significant in next year’s bidding for the 2014 and 2016 Games.
On Friday the research firm eMarketer estimated that NBC earned $5.75 million in revenue from online video ads, a tiny proportion of the $1 billion in total advertising revenue it raised from the Games. eMarketer came up with its video ad estimate by multiplying an estimated 4.5 million streams daily by 1.5 ads per stream at a CPM of $50. NBC officials said that Internet advertising revenues could not be estimated because the ads were sold across various platforms.
Traffic to NBCOlympics.com peaked each day around noon as office workers checked in during the lunch hour. Gibs said Nielsen also saw traffic spikes on the last two Monday mornings, presumably as office workers caught up on Olympics action they might have missed over the weekend.
NBC’s decision to save some popular sports for prime time–up to 12 hours after they have happened — irritated some. Americans awakened to breaking news e-mail messages and Web site headlines revealing the results of gymnastics and track and field races, but had to wait until bedtime to see the events on television.
But Tech Crunch brings the numbers back down to Earth; Yahoo Sports still edged it out with an average of 4.7 million visitors a day versus 4.3 million (source: Nielsen Online). And Yahoo didn’t even have video. eMarketer guesses that NBC’s Olympics video ad revenues came to $5.75 million. That compares to $23 million that CBS made from video ads when it streamed the NCAA basketball tournament live on its Website in March, explains Tech Crunch.
NBC treated the Olympics like a research laboratory, and it says it is gleaning information about how people preferred to consume content from its combination of television, online and mobile offerings.
Last week, eMarketer issued a revised forecast of $550 million for Web video ad spending in 2008, up from $324 million last year. The category is expected to hit $5.8 billion in ad dollars by 2013.
IDC predicts internet advertising revenue will surpass newspapers, cable and broadcast TV by 2012. IDC predicts overall Internet advertising revenue will double by 2012, from $25.5 billion in 2007 to $51.1 billion. The Internet, says IDC, will move from the number 5 medium to the number 2 slot in just 5 years, second only to direct marketing.
Related 2008 Olympics coverage on Dailywireless includes; Olympics: In Demand, Denver Gets Ready for DNC, WiMAX for TV Remote Feeds, The Olympic Handset, Olympics Has Not Melted The Internet – Yet, Mobile Users Becoming A Force, China Showcases TD-SCDMA at Olympics and 2008 Summer Olympics: On Demand