Yahoo (s YHOO) just sent us a gloating press release letting us know that its Olympics web site has been getting more traffic than either NBCOlympics.com or ESPN.com. The site saw 9.3 million unique visitors from February 8-14, according to comScore numbers quoted by Yahoo. NBC’s (s GE) Olympics site attracted 6.5 million unique visitors during the same time period, and ESPN clocked 8.4 million uniques.
Granted, measuring Yahoo’s Olympics site against NBC’s web property is like comparing apples and oranges. There’s a big difference in the content offered by the two sites: Yahoo mostly offers catch-up videos and analysis, whereas NBC Olympics actually makes it possible to tune into the games in real time. However, Yahoo Olympics has a huge advantage by being associated with the fire hose that is Yahoo.com, where stories about the Olympics have been featured prominently ever since the games began.
And there’s another reason NBCOlympics isn’t getting as much traffic as it could: NBC’s decision to restrict live streams to cable, satellite and IPTV subcribers and to limit its coverage to 400 hours of live video. Broadcasters in other countries have been far more aggressive, transmitting as much as 2,000 hours of live coverage online, without any of the hoops through which NBC Olympics users have to jump.
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