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Devouring the Olympics for lunch

August 20, 2008 |  4:47 pm
Usain Bolt's shoes

Did you have the Olympics for lunch? Did you catch the men's 200 meter while gobbling a salad? Did you check out Misty May-Treanor's thoughts about her upcoming match while you downed the sandwich?  Nearly choke on carrot sticks as you watched Shawn Johnson doing flips on the balance beam? 

If so, you have company. Nielsen Online reported today that traffic to NBC's Olympics website generally peaks at noon. On Aug. 15, for example, 1.14 million visited at that hour. 

Online, Yahoo is still doing the best overall, attracting an average daily audience of 4.7 million to its Olympics site. NBC is next with 4.2 million. Not surprising, the online audience is bigger during the work week than the weekend.

Each day, about 1.5 million unique visitors watch video from NBC's site.

Maybe wanting to experience the suspense of an event is out, and total saturation with mobile phone updates and reading the blogs is in. It appears that the relationship between TV and the Web is fluid: People go online to find out about the results of an event, and they go there to catch up on things they missed on TV. Do people lose interest if they know the result? Do they want to see it even more?

If you want to watch Usain Bolt and the men's 200 meter live, or before NBC wants you to, pickings have been slim, says Silicon Alley Insider. You have to surf the Web as quick as Bolt before the video disappears.

-- Michelle Quinn

Photo: Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt's shoes. Credit: Gabriel Bouys / AFP/Getty Images