As we noted yesterday, NBC Sports, ESPN and the USGA got something right on Monday: They streamed the US Open playoff between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate live on the Web, for free. The rationale: NBC wasn’t losing any TV audience, but they gained at-work golf fans, who wouldn’t be watching TV anyway.
Today, the payoff: NBC Sports says Monday was its best day ever online, with 9.1 million page views, 2 million unique visitors and 1.5 million video streams served of the playoff. Each stream averaged 17 minutes.
NewTeeVee checked in with the USGA, which is claiming it did even bigger numbers on its site: 16 million visits, 3.5 million unique visitors and 2.5 million streams.
ESPN also streamed the tournament online through its ESPN 360 broadband service, but isn’t giving any metrics. ESPN 360 is only available in 28 million US homes, subject to deals with broadband distributors, so those numbers would be comparatively small.
Even so, the NBC and USGA numbers combined come close to matching the 4.8 million viewers that tuned into CBS’s March Madness online. The big difference here is that March Madness was 63 games over three weeks.
Why? Because the NBC stream had next-to-no advertising. The network’s television advertising was stripped out of the feed, and on NBC.com, the stream carried just an occasional 15 second-spot for USGA sponsor Lexus (plus all the usual display ads surrounding the stream). Meanwhile the USGA was running short pre-rolls for American Express.
We’re not sure why NBC stripped the ads out of its feed, but we’re trying to find out. In the meantime, if you’ve got any ideas, let us know in comments below.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.