A flurry of deal-making means that NBC U (GE) and CBS (CBS) now have much bigger Web presences than they did at the beginning of the year. It will take a while to really assess the transactions’ financial impact. But both networks are already exploiting the pickups of the Weather Channel and CNET Networks, respectively, to boost their online bragging rights.
When the deals were closed, NBC U claimed its acquisition of Weather.com would give it 70 million monthly unique visitors and CBS said its acquisition of CNET makes it the “8th largest Web network,” citing comScore. But they’re a bit ahead of themselves.
Since NBC U only owns one-third of Weather Channel (with Bain Capital and Blackstone Group), it’s unclear if Nielsen or comScore will consolidate its online audience with NBC U; it already counts iVillage as a seperate entity, for example. Similarly, CBS won’t move in the rankings at all if CNET is counted separately.
But play along, for a moment, and pretend that CBS and CNET, and NBC U, iVillage and Weather.com, are consolidated for ranking purporses. How would it all shake out in term of combined unduplicated unique visitors?
NBC U and CBS would have fallen at No. 7 and No. 12, respectively, among comScore’s U.S. Web properties in May. According to Nielsen Online, NBC U and CBS would be No. 10 and No. 12.
1. Google Sites / 143 million unique visitors
2. Yahoo / 143 million
3. Microsoft / 121 million
4. AOL / 111 million
5. Fox Interactive / 89 million
6. eBay / 78 million
7. NBC U / 66 million
8. Wikipedia / 59 million
9. Amazon / 58 million
10. Time Warner / 56 million (excluding AOL)
11. Ask Network / 55 million
12. CBS / 54 million
1. Google / 128 million unique visitors
2. Microsoft / 123 million
3. Yahoo / 116 million
4. Time Warner / 108 million
5. News Corp. / 79 million
6. eBay / 66 million
7. InterActiveCorp. / 65 million
8. Wikimedia Foundation / 57 million
9. Amazon / 55 million
10. NBC Universal / 51.2 million
11. New York Times Company / 51.1 million
12. CBS / 48.6 million