Granny goes for Olympic gold

New Zealand's 'Granny Herald' is a world leader for Olympic news on the Internet, according to a market researcher.

New Zealand's "Granny Herald" is a world leader for Olympic news on the Internet, according to a market researcher.

An Internet unit of ACNielsen says the Auckland paper's Web site, www.nzherald.co.nz, is among the 25 most accessed Web sites in the world for Olympic news.

"The Herald's success attests to the site's own pulling power, and to the very high level of enthusiasm for the games among New Zealanders," says Kerry Hawkins, sales and marketing director for ACNielsen eRatings.com.

Despite New Zealand's small population, Hawkins says the Web site is building up a strong international following alongside international heavyweights.

"The fact that the New Zealanders had finalists in the single sculls during this [Sunday] period would have also helped drive up interest among overseas Web surfers for a local perspective on how their home crowds thought the rowers were going to do.

The Herald's ranking among the top 25 sites is a terrific achievement, Hawkins says.

The position was also maintained in similar figures yesterday (Monday).

The "Web Olympics Index" provides a daily snapshot of Web traffic to approximately 250 official and unofficial Olympics-related sites over the previous 24 hours.

The service is provided by ACNielsen eRatings.com - a venture between ACNielsen, the New York Stock Exchange, NetRatings and others - and covers 165,000 home users in 15 countries.

The top two Web sites were www.nbcolympics.com of the US, closely followed by the official Olympics site Olympics.com, with an estimated 3.9 million recorded page views. Other sites in the top 25 included online betting on Eeurobet.co.uk and Silly2000,com, a parody of the official Web site.

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