Live streaming video of Michael Jackson's funeral service caused a surge in Internet traffic Tuesday, with cable news channels reporting the second-busiest day for live video online after President Obama's inauguration in January.
CNN.com said it served 9.7 million live video streams between 12 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Tuesday, which included coverage of the Jackson service in Los Angeles, compared with some 26.9 million live video streams for the Obama inauguration.
Meanwhile, FoxNews.com delivered 3.4 million streams for the Jackson memorial (versus 5 million on Inauguration Day), while MSNBC.com served 3 million live streams (versus 9 million for the Obama inauguration).
Akamai Technologies, an Internet content distribution network provider, said it delivered more than 2.185 million live and on-demand video streams Tuesday with total traffic across its network topping 2 terabits per second during Jackson's memorial service.
That's less than one-third the 7 million active simultaneous streams the Akamai network recorded during the Obama inauguration in January.
According to Facebook, about 1 million users posted approximately 800,000 status updates on the site related to the live online broadcasts by CNN, E! Online, ABC.com and MTV of the Jackson memorial service. Of those, 733,000 were attributed to CNN's coverage. On Inauguration Day, according to Facebook, 1.8 million status updates included the word "Obama."
Web measurement firm Keynote Systems said the Internet as a whole appeared "unaffected" by the large amount of online traffic generated by the Jackson memorial service according to its Business 40 performance index, whereas during Obama's inauguration the same index showed an overall slowdown of 60% initially.
Limelight Networks, a CDN provider that competes with Akamai, did not release specific statistics but a spokesman said the amount of video traffic traversing its network during the Jackson funeral coverage exceeded its totals from the Obama inauguration.
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