Olympics Add to Sports Video Gold

Based on the early numbers we’re seeing, the Olympics are poised to put an exclamation point on an already strong year for sports video online. So how exactly have the strides, swings and slam-dunks performed in 2008? We’ve pulled together data from some of the biggest sporting events of the year to get a better picture.

March Madness: 4.8 million unique visitors throughout the two-week tournament (CBS would not provide the number of streams).

Major League Baseball: 1 to 1.5 million people tune in to watch a live game each day.

NBA Western Conference Finals: 3 million live streams were served by TNT.

Pocono 500: 712,000 streams were watched at NASCAR.com.

U.S. Open Finals: 5.2 million streams were served by NBC and the USGA, with 4 million streams testing the limits of the respective sites for Tiger Woods’ down-to-the-wire playoff victory.

Wimbledon: 1 million live streams and 4 million video-on-demand streams.

Tour de France: 3.4 million videos were downloaded from Vs.com.

The PGA Championship: 800,000 streams (no Tiger = no one watching).

The Olympics: 13.5 million video streams served up by NBCOlympics.com during the first four days of the games (and that was with a new software installation requirement and a delay for the most popular events). UPDATE: NBC released new numbers, the network says it’s pumped out nearly 22 million Olympic video streams to 25 million unique users so far.

Perhaps seeing sports like tennis and cycling pull in millions of plays spurred the NFL into streaming 17 of its games online this year. We can’t wait to see what those stats look like, though with the country fixated on Michael Phelps’ quest for record-breaking gold, football will probably be a nice footnote to a remarkable year for online sports.