AOL Reports 5 Million Unique Visitors in 8 Hours of Coverage

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NEW YORK ( -- Thanks to Live 8, millions spent at least part of the long July 4th weekend in front of the TV tube or computer screen.
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A reported 1 million people attended the 10 concerts held in London and Cornwall, U.K.; England; Paris; Berlin; Rome; Philadelphia; Barrie, Canada; Tokyo; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Moscow, and broadcasts were expected to attract billions worldwide, although no official figure has been released.

The concert series, organized by Bob Geldof, was meant to pressure the G8 leaders who meeting in Scotland this week through Friday to help end poverty in Africa.

MTV, VH1 coverage
Viacom's MTV and VH1, which simulcast eight hours of coverage of the concerts, reached 18 million total viewers between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. EST. That total helped MTV rank as the No. 1 cable network in its key 12- to 34-year-old demo for the day and fueled the network to its highest rated week ever, excluding weeks in which it airs its MTV Movie Awards or MTV Video Awards.

Time Warner's AOL, which broadcast each of the 10 concerts around the world, reported 5 million unique viewers to its video area Saturday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. EST, the core hours in which the concerts were held. At its peak, 6:30 p.m., 175,000 streams were activated at once -- a record for the online portal. AOL hasn’t yet released its on-demand numbers, but an AOL spokeswoman said on demand usage “usually significantly increases the total.”

Nielsen/NetRatings reported the AOL Music Channel in the U.S. attracted 2.1 million unique visitors, a 213% increase from the previous Saturday.

Prime-time broadcast
Walt Disney Co.'s ABC turned in the lowest performance, with a 2.1 rating and 5 share. A two-hour prime-time special of highlights attracted 2.9 million total viewers. (A share is a percentage of TV households that have their sets on at a given time. A rating is a percentage of all TV households. For example, a 1.0 rating is 1% of the total U.S. households with TV.)

Canada’s CTV, which carried 18 hours of concerts, reported that one in every three Canadians tuned into at least part of the coverage, according to ratings service BBM Canada.

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