According to a report on the NewYorkBusiness.com site, NBC reports that their NBCOlympics.com Web site has had 261.1 million pages hits since it opened. More importantly, it has delivered 6.4 million video streams totalling 72,000 hours of video. This is double the amount of video streamed during the Athens Olympics.
At a time when Olympic broadcast ratings seem to be slumping, video delivered over the Internet is taking off. Why? I think that this is an excellent bellwether for the “what you want to watch, when you want to watch it, where you want to watch it” benefits of IPTV, and signals that there is strong interest in being able to choose your own sequence and schedule. Content producers will be smart to pay close attention to the lessons learned from this Olympics coverage on the Web. Personally, I’d like to see less agressive compression (for fewer artifacts) and higher-than-standard resolution for the clips (so they show better on computer screens and HDTVs), but I’m confident that these will come as demand increases and these become competitive advantages instead of seen as liabilities.