The widespread availability of broadband technology has made this year’s Olympic Games the first "truly online" event of its kind, according to Nielsen Online.

Jon Gibs, vice-president of media analytics at the independent analyst, makes his assertion following the publication of US internet audience data ranking the top ten most-visited websites relating to the games.

"With the ubiquity of broadband and the breadth of available content – combined with the time difference between the US and Beijing – this truly is the first online video Olympics," he asserts.

The research indicates that search engine Yahoo!’s Olympic site attracted an audience of 1.47 million on the day of the opening ceremony (August 8th), with this increasing to 3.32 million on the following day – the first of official competition.

Mr Gibs concludes by noting that it will be "interesting" to track video usage trends over the course of the games.

In related news, research by PEW Internet and American Life Project recently showed that nearly half (49 per cent) of Americans use search engines during the course of a normal day.