Blog Post

How Big Were the Winter Olympics Online?

The recently concluded Winter Olympics that were held in Vancouver, Canada are latest sign that user behavior is increasingly shifting towards online video. Akamai, a Cambridge, Mass.-based content delivery network with a global footprint, helped collect some of the stats about the Vancouver Olympics and they are truly mind-boggling.

I had previously noted that clocked 710 million page views and 46 million unique visits. In addition, NBC Olympics Mobile served up 82 million page views and 1.9 million mobile video streams. But those numbers were a small part of the overall picture.

* Akamai delivered more than 5,000 hours of live and on-demand video over 17 days and at peak, served more than 30 concurrent live-streaming events.
* At its peak, Akamai was streaming close to 374 Gbps of video.
* The company delivered more than 12 Petabytes  (12,000 TBs) across its Olympics customers. To put that in perspective, the Internet archive has over 3 petabytes of data.
* On Feb. 28, at its peak, Akamai served up about 2.4 million pages per second, with the majority of traffic coming from North America, followed by Europe. This could be explained by the USA v. Canada ice hockey finals and the closing ceremony.
* Other continents had a passing interest in the events of the day.

These numbers are for the content delivered by Akamai on behalf of a dozen of its customers and not the entire Akamai network.


For more data and information on Olympics, follow our sister blog NewTeeVee’s Olympics coverage. They have covered the event extensively including all the problems with the event and frustration among the actual users.

NBC clearly skimped on the online coverage, much to annoyance of the consumers.

4 Responses to “How Big Were the Winter Olympics Online?”

  1. Richard Hamilton

    Here in Canada, CTV had the rights and streamed all of its TV content, ads and all, as well as its video feeds from different events over the Internet. There were also archives of events you had missed. It was TV as it should be. Having cancelled my TV contract 6 months ago, I was more than pleased. Sometimes the playback suffered from latency (not so good for speed events such as bobsled or short track skating), but all in all very impressive. CTV and Bell Canada are now under common ownership and I’m on the Bell network. Not sure if Rogers customers had the same QoS.

  2. NBC coverage sucked. Can’t believe they do packaged fakelive vs. streaming everything online all the time — no wonder these big media “top down” diktat models are going to die. This is year 2010, i want my MTV when and how i want it.

  3. I was fortunate enough to catch the Olympics live and in person! But those are pretty impressive numbers, especially given how costly the actual television rights were.

    I am going to predict (first) that by 2016, everyone in the Brazil Olympics opening ceremonies will receive a free iPad and transmit their video back onto the world in real-time, and the world will be streaming it to their own iPads;-)