The Olympic Games in Beijing is proving to be a hit in the workplace.
Traffic to Olympics-related Web sites soared Monday, the first full workday after the official opening of the games Friday, according to numbers released Wednesday by Nielsen Online (see chart below). More than 2 million people visited the video section of NBCOlympics.com, up nearly 140 percent from Sunday when the site had about 858,000 visitors, according to Nielsen. Overall visits to the site increased 40 percent to 4.6 million compared with Sunday's 3.3 million.
Traffic to Yahoo's Olympics site also skyrocketed, up 86 percent to 5.2 million visitors compared with Sunday's 2.8 million.
Mobile usage also saw a significant boost, increasing from 210,000 on Friday to 476,062 on Monday. NBC, which said it polled users, said it was "stunned" at the number of users who were using mobile video download for the first time.
Meanwhile, Nielsen Media Research reported that NBC's TV coverage averaged more than 30 million viewers for the first three days of the games, a 26 percent increase compared with the same period during the Athens Games in 2004. The opening ceremony was last week's most-watched program, attracting nearly 35 million viewers.
As well as NBC is doing both on TV and on online, it begs the question of whether NBC's policy of delaying popular events online until they have run on TV in prime time was a wise move or overly restrictive.