Web ratings rise with fall series


NEW YORK -- With fall series premieres as the drivers, ABC and NBC saw notable upticks in visitors to their Web sites last month, according to a report that comScore Media Metrix released last week.

ABC.com was the fourth-highest-gaining Web property for September, with a 78% increase to 8.1 million unique visitors, the report found. This was driven by a 212% increase to the "Dancing With the Stars" site, which saw 826,000 visitors for the month, and a 206% increase to the "Grey's Anatomy" destination, which had 679,000 visitors.

NBC sites saw a 52% uptick to 7.5 million visitors, driven by the "Deal or No Deal" site, which had a 998% increase to 1.9 million visitors for the month.

With Google's recent announcement that it will buy YouTube for $1.65 billion, it remains to be seen what effect this will have on video sites in the coming months. "It will be interesting to watch how online video sites differentiate themselves and how major media companies take notice," comScore executive vp Jack Flanagan said.

Following the Sept. 4 death of Steve Irwin, Discovery sites also saw a surge in traffic, with a 33% increase to 7 million visitors.

Overall, MSN TV was the top TV Web site, with 12.7 million visitors for September, up 36% from August. Yahoo! TV was second with 9.8 million visitors, down 9% from August, and AOL Television followed close behind with 9.6 million visitors, up 13% from the previous month.

Online video sites also saw increases in September with YouTube, in its last month before officially being associated with Google, gaining 9% to 20.8 million visitors. Video site Metacafe saw an increase of 134% to 4.2 million visitors, and TopTVBytes.com saw a 72% uptick to 6.1 million visitors for September.

Overall, the top 10 Web properties remained unchanged in September, the report found, with Yahoo! sites leading the way with 130 million visitors. The Time Warner Network was second with 120 million visitors, and Microsoft and Google followed with 119 million and 107 million unique visitors, respectively.

The Lionsgate Entertainment Web property was the largest overall gainer for September, with a 565% increase from a little less than 1 million visitors in August to 6.6 million in September. This largely was driven by traffic to the site for the movie "Hard Candy."