Remember when the Internet was supposed to kill off television?
That hasn’t been the case lately, judging by the record television ratings for big-ticket events. The Vancouver Olympics are shaping up to be the most-watched foreign Winter Games since 1994. This year’s Super Bowl was the most-watched program in United States history, beating out the final episode of “M*A*S*H” in 1983. Awards shows like the Grammys are attracting their biggest audiences in years.
Many television executives are crediting the Internet, in part, for the revival.
The Nielsen Company, which measures television viewership and Web traffic, noticed this month that one in seven people who were watching the Super Bowl and the Olympics opening ceremony were surfing the Web at the same time.
“The Internet is our friend, not our enemy,” said Leslie Moonves, chief executive of the CBS Corporation, which broadcast both the Super Bowl and the Grammy Awards this year. “People want to be attached to each other.”
Seeking to capitalize on the online water-cooler effect, NBC showed the Golden Globes live on both coasts for the first time this year, and the network reportedly wants to do the same for the Emmy Awards this fall, so the entire country can watch (and chat online) simultaneously.
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