Historic Election Day Sets Traffic Records

akamaielectionWith unprecedented resources for tracking yesterday’s election online, visitors flocked to news sites in droves. But notably, while web and cable viewer numbers were sizzling hot, the big three networks were down 16 percent vs. the election four years ago. ABC was down 2 percent, NBC 24 percent, and CBS 25 percent. Cable networks CNN and Fox News Channel actually beat CBS last night, according to preliminary numbers.

Here are some of the early web traffic returns.

Akamai (via Beet.tv): The content delivery network saw a peak of 8.57 million global visitors per minute at the time Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech, topping a previous high of 7.3 million in July 2006 when Ghana eliminated the U.S. in the World Cup. Akamai powers CNN, NBC, the BCC, Reuters and others. It started tracking web traffic peaks in August 2005.

CNN: The news site had more than 27 million unique visitors, a site record, on Nov. 4. Its CNN.com Live video service delivered 4.9 million live streams (nearly tripling its previous record). Plus 276 million page views for CNN.com and 6.7 million on-demand video streams.

ABCNews.com had an all-time high of 3.4 million uniques and 24.2 million page views, with more than 340,000 live streams, even without counting upcoming reports from partners at Yahoo and Comcast.

Mogulus: The live-streaming service, which powered broadcasts for USA Today, C-SPAN, The UpTake and many more, recorded a simultaneous audience peak of 87,178.

Ustream, which powered live streams of Obama’s acceptance speech, ABC News’ live radio coverage, and James Kotecki from Politico, had more than a million visitors yesterday, “coming close to the Ustream record for most views of a single event previously set by the Republican National Convention in September 2008.” But the site doesn’t track simultaneous viewers, and the RNC was a multiday event, so it’s kind of handicapping its bragging rights on this one.