Digital Olympics score big with Canadians

Fans log 110 million online video views

TORONTO -- The first truly digital Olympics are a hit with Canadians. The TV set is still by far the biggest platform by which Canadians view the 2010 Vancouver Games.

But online viewership records have been smashed, according to Canada's Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium.

The CTV-led broadcast consortium, which holds the exclusive domestic rights to the 2010 event, on Wednesday reported 110 million page views on its and online video players by the end of day 10, twice the amount of the 2008 Beijing Games.

The consortium already overtook the Beijing 2008 page views by day 5 of the Vancouver Games.

Canadians have so far during the Games viewed 3.3 million hours of video online, much of it either on-demand viewing or replays of Olympic sporting coverage first broadcast on 11 TV networks nationwide.

Canadian online audiences have also viewed 8.4 million live sporting event videos, and watched 9.2 million on-demand videos, for 17.6 million videos viewed in all.

On average, Canadian video viewers are watching 51 minutes of video each day of the Games, the consortium reported.

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Social media sites have made less headway attracting Canadian and other local bloggers and tweeters in Vancouver during the Games, owing to stringent protections imposed by the International Olympic Committee to protect Games rights-holders. 

The IOC has attempted where possible to bar Canadians from uploading video, a series of photos or interviews with Olympic athletes to Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites.