We know — because NBC won’t stop reminding us — that the Olympics have been a ratings bonanaza for the network. And traffic to NBCOlympics.com has been record-breaking, too.
But NBC isn’t the only one enjoying an Olympic traffic spike; all of the biggest sites on the Web have seen an increase. And on at least one day last week, Yahoo’s Olympic traffic topped NBC’s. Now Chris Matyszczyk, who CNET informs us is “a multi award-winning creative director who now advises major global corporations on content creation and marketing” says he hears advertisers are fed up with NBC’s Web offering for some reason and are looking elsewhere:
For all Mr. Zucker’s public delight at the network’s Olympian Olympic performance, I understand that some advertisers have not been entirely happy with the returns they are getting from the splendid NBCOlympics.com.
Indeed, word of mouth in the business is that several of NBC’s advertisers have, over the last week, been discreetly attempting to augment their online presence by seeking to buy space on sites other than NBC’s.
Does this mean that NBC’s online Olympics site is somehow underdelivering on promises made?
We’ve given NBC plenty of grief this month, but this one doesn’t ring true to us at all. We imagine that if anything, the network was extra-cautious about the traffic it promised advertisers, precisely for fear of coming up short. If advertisers are buying Olympic traffic on other sites, we imagine the reasoning is more straightforward: The games have given big sites more inventory than they expected. And given a slowing economy, those sites are happy to sell of much of it as they can, most likely at a discount.
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