News Sites Attract Record Audience on Election Night

On Election night everyone was glued to their screens. Not just their TV screens, but also their computer screens. Going to the major news sites, hitting refresh on the interactive electoral maps millions of times, and watching Obama and McCain give their final speeches of the campaign streamed live over the Web. According to Akamai, which is the content delivery network for most major news sites including CNN (which had a record day on its own), NBC, Reuters, and the BBC, global visitors to news sites peaked last night at 11 PM with 8,572,042 visitors per minute.

That is double the normal traffic level, and 18 percent above the previous peak of 7.3 million visitors per minute achieved during the World Cup back in June, 2006. (The third biggest peak to news sites was last March during the first day of the U.S. college basketball playoffs when it hit 7 million visitors per minute).

How long will this record last and what will be the next event to topple it?

(Hat tip to Beet.TV).