Web Not Cutting Olympics' Audience

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The record TV ratings of the Beijing Olympics during their first week despite intensive online coverage may dispel the general notion that the Internet poses a threat to broadcasters, advertising representatives attending the Games have told the International Herald Tribune . "People have always been talking about how digital media will take away audiences from TV," Chris Reitermann, president of the Chinese unit of OgilvyOne, a direct marketing agency, told the newspaper. "That's just not happening. Maybe this will be a wake-up call for a lot of people." Some advertisers acknowledged that before the ratings results came in they were worried that the money they had spent on TV ads -- reportedly around $700,000 each -- would be drawn down by the Internet coverage. But Kevin Alavy, who heads a research arm of media buyers Interpublic Group, said, "We're living in an era of audience fragmentation, but here's an event that isn't fragmenting but is going through the roof." In an interview with today's New York Times, NBC chief Jeff Zucker said, "It's a great story for network television. ... This proves the pipes still work." (They continued to work on Monday as the Games attracted an average of 25.39 million viewers, dominating all other programming for an 11th straight night.)



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