August 19, 2008

Fans Around the World Following the Olympics Online

With week-one of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the history books, Nielsen Online, a service of the Nielsen Company, today reported insights into how fans around the world used the Internet to follow the games between Aug. 9 and Aug. 15, 2008, the first week of competition.

Fans from across 10 countries* measured by Nielsen Online visited, the official Web site of the Beijing games, at a rate of nearly 930,000 per day, with traffic exceeding one million unique visitors on several days during the period, as fans sought out Olympics results, news and video.

"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. Interestingly, traffic from outside of China to the official site tracked closely with medal results at the end of week-one, with visitors from the U.S., Australia and France in the top three."

                   Table 1: Average Daily Unique Audience to          , Aug. 9 - Aug. 15, 2008                        Country               Average Daily                                             Unique Visitors                   1.  U.S.                      554,800                   2.  France                    123,000                   3.  Australia                  71,300                   4.  Great Britain              54,000                   5.  Japan                      36,500                   6.  Spain                      29,100                   7.  Germany                    24,000                   8.  Brazil                     15,100                   9.  Italy                      12,200                   10. Switzerland                 7,400                   Source: Nielsen Online, NetView Custom Analysis 

Online Video

In an analysis of visitors to the video sections of two Olympics broadcast partner Web sites, Nielsen Online reported that NBC in the U.S. and Terra in Brazil are attracting impressive traffic to video content. U.S. daily traffic to NBC's video section averaged more than 1.5 million unique visitors from home and work per day during the period, spiking on Monday, Aug. 11, when over two million unique visitors sought out video content as the work week commenced. Traffic within Brazil to the Olympics video section of Terra averaged 119,000 unique visitors per day from home, with traffic above average during the opening weekend.

Rooting for the Home Team -- and Maybe Michael Phelps: Usage in China

Not surprisingly, Internet traffic in host-country China (with more than 250 million online users,** the world's largest Internet population) reflected strong interest in the games. Through a partnership with ChinaRank (, a large-scale Website ranking platform hosted by the ISC (Internet Society of China), Nielsen Online reported an analysis of traffic within China to more than 200 Olympics-related sites. ChinaRank data showed that, during the period, more than one-quarter of China's online users visited Olympics-related content on a daily basis, with an average of 65.8 million unique browsers tracked daily, and viewed more than 4.6 billion Olympics-related pages over the course of the week.

Within China, traffic to the official site,, averaged 1.5 million unique browsers per day during the first week of the games. And while online users in China searched a broad range of popular Chinese athletes throughout the week, American swimmer Michael Phelps appeared prominently in the top 10 most-searched Olympics terms during the week, as fans in China followed Phelps' now successful quest for eight Olympic gold medals.

"Michael Phelps is clearly the global story of these games," commented 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."

About Nielsen Online:

Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, delivers comprehensive, independent measurement and analysis of online audiences, advertising, video, consumer-generated media, word of mouth, commerce and consumer behavior, and includes products previously marketed under the Nielsen//NetRatings and Nielsen BuzzMetrics brands. With high quality, technology-driven products and services, Nielsen Online enables clients to make informed business decisions regarding their Internet, digital and marketing strategies. For more information, please visit

About The Nielsen Company:

The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions in marketing information (ACNielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), online intelligence (NetRatings and BuzzMetrics), mobile measurement, trade shows and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA. For more information, please visit,

* Nielsen Online ten-country Olympics reporting includes the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Brazil, Japan and Australia.

** Source: China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC)

Editors' note: Please source all data to Nielsen Online, with the exception of data related to usage in China, which should be sourced to ChinaRank.

 Media Contacts: Suzy Bausch (415) 617-0181 Michelle McGiboney (408) 941-2930 [email protected]

SOURCE: The Nielsen Company