Opening Day: NBCOlympics.com 70M Pageviews, With No Opening Ceremony Vid; BBC’s 700K Online Streams

Update: Because people are asking this in the comments thread below: The DVD of the opening ceremony is now for sale…can be ordered here.

Original post: NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) is touting its TV and online numbers from day one, Friday, at the Beijing Olympics, but at least online the numbers ring hollow. On TV, it was the best overnight rating ever for non-U.S. Olympic Opening Ceremony earning a 21.5/37 (8-11:19 p.m. ET/PT), the company says, surpassing Sydney Olympics in 2000. This after a 12-hour and 15-hour tape delay on East and West coast respectively.

On the online side, where the Opening Ceremony was nowhere to be found until this morning, it had 70 million page views Friday, 10 times more than the seven million page views on the opening day of the Athens Games, though it was probably more people trying to desperately find some video of the ceremony than anything else. Even this morning, the site has highlights of the ceremony, not the full broadcast. It probably would have made sense to put the full first part of the ceremony–before the parade of nations–online.

Anyway, some other online numbers:
— The 70 million page views are nearly 50 million more page views than the peak day in Athens (Day 4, 20.6 million).
— NBCOlympics.com’s 4.2 million unique users show an increase of 496 percent over the unique users for the opening day of the Athens Games in 2004 (705,000).
— Since August 1, 2008, NBCOlympics.com has accumulated more than 127 million page views, nearly half the total for the entire Athens Games.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying the Badminton coverage online.

Across the pond, for BBC, which doesn’t have to go through these contortions to protect its TV rights, about 700,000 watched the first day of the games live on its website, through the video stream.

Update: NBC says all of the opening is up now but in segments. Here are the three key videos we could find: Sights and Sounds (52 minutes); Parade of Athletes (1hour, 37 minutes); Cauldron Lighting (12:51).

Pic courtesy: Kathy Zhuang.

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