Secret to online sports coverage: bored office workers

The Internet makes it pretty hard for office workers to focus on their jobs from 9 to 5. There are always web games, breaking news, and most of all: sports. With Americans away from their televisions for 8 hours a day, the allure of quietly opening a second browser window to check fantasy baseball standings, March Madness brackets, or World Cup scores pulls people away from productivity year round.

In fact, NBC is counting on it. With the Olympics this week, NBC launched a massive web campaign to keep all eyeballs on its sites. (Check out Greg Lamb's story this week, which discusses how "NBC is streaming 2,200 hours of live competition in 25 sports on the website.") Errant office workers were NBC's main target.

Well, the numbers are in and NBC took home online gold, thanks to white-collar workers.

Yesterday, Nielsen released stats comparing Olympics web traffic from last weekend with the period when people returned to work on Monday. CNET reports that:

More than 2 million people visited the video section of, 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.

Yahoo saw a similar Olympics bonce: Traffic surged 86 percent from Sunday to Monday.

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