The Italian Almanac

Turin Olympics

Italian News - February 19

The Turin Winter Olympics is proving to be more popular on the Internet than the 2004 Summer Games in Athens. The Torino 2006 Web site had 50 million hits on Wednesday, 10 percent more than the official Athens site recorded on the same day, officials said. The figure was also five times more than those tracked on the Salt Lake City site four years ago.

Television coverage of the first five days of the Olympics dominated ratings in Europe, especially in host nation Italy. The United States, Japan and China all recorded big audience figures despite the time difference, while ratings in non-traditional winter sports markets such as Australia were also strong.

In Italy, the gold medal run of Italian Armin Zoeggeler in the luge last Sunday attracted 5.5 million viewers. Olympic host broadcasters NBC had an average of 17.9 million viewers on Wednesday, almost double its average mid-week ratings this season.