The 2008 Olympics was full of big news: The most gold medals ever won by a single person, and, for China, an astounding number of gold medals. However, the news doesn’t stop there! According to WebTrends Analytics, more than 6 million visitors a day were hitting Chinese largest broadcaster site, during the Beijing Olympic Games ushering in what Alex Yoder, CEO of WebTrends calls, “… the coming of age for the Internet in China.” What’s more is that the traffic surpassed that of the leading US Broadcaster, NBC and online channel, Yahoo!. offered up more than 3,800 hours of live video coverage during the Olympics along with over 20,000 hours of news and extra coverage. This resulted in over 100 million unique visitors for the length of the games and about 6 million a day. NBC, the largest coverage in America, only maintained about 4.3 million a day while Yahoo slightly topped them with 4.7 million.

Visitors were spending an average of 11.5 minutes on the site per day.

What a great opportunity for online video and video advertising. If people are spending 11.5 minutes a day watching video online that means the potential for advertising is through the roof and this could be a new trend in major sporting events.

While the major league sports in America are insanely proprietary and don’t allow people to watch their sports freely online, with enough advertising interest they could be persuaded to do so. This would not only benefit the viewers and fans that live outside the country but the advertisers as well since they would be able to hit a demographic that might be hard to reach otherwise.

Additionally there is no way to skip advertisements that are being streamed to a web browser of media player in real-time. That means any advertisements during the shows or sporting events will be seen by more people than on traditional television.

While television advertising is still a necessity to hit a certain demographic it seems like online video advertising is also becoming a major facet of marketing. If 100 million people were willing to watch 11.5 minutes of videos for the summer Olympics think what could be done for major sports championship games around the world like soccer, football and even baseball.

Geo-tagging of viewers by IP address could even allow for specific ads being injected into the stream allowing local, national and international targeting of specific ads to specific people. So while one person might see an ad for local real estate, another might see one for a national fast food chain and an international viewer might see an ad for a brand with worldwide presence. That could mean triple the income for certain advertising slots during the matches.

This needn’t be constrained to sporting events but any major event that would draw a large audience both nationally and internationally could also be a prime target for this sort of advertising deal. Online video is obviously popular if you look at sites like YouTube and, as interest continues to rise in viewing video online more and more broadcasters and properties should make the migration online. That means more and more advertising slots will be available and could have a better conversion than traditional television-based ads.