The onset of the 2008 Olympic Games had many new-media types expecting the Internet to leave conventional media coverage lagging behind in a cloud of dust.

And why wouldn’t they? The number of people getting news and other information online keeps growing every day. Media buying consultants are pushing clients toward online advertising more and more. From books to music and video – what can’t you access online?

Up close and personal… Sure, the Internet kept us well informed about the Games with consistent updates on what was happening in Beijing. But there is one thing television gave viewers that the Internet could not – live coverage.

Media buying consultants could not ignore this. For those unable to attend the Games in person, experiencing each exciting event on a high definition set at home was the next best thing.

Online video can’t be beat, but it still could not compare to witnessing the intense concentration on Shawn Johnson’s face as she prepared to mount the vault horse; or experiencing those first winning moments for Michael Phelps as he searched to find his mother’s face in the crowded stands.

Online media has come a long way… The Internet has come a very long way. However, television still has a lock on offering consumers the opportunity to immerse themselves and experience the Olympic Games, Super Bowl, World Series and more from the comfort of home.

For these (and other) reasons, media buyers and media buying consultants should pay attention – very close attention.