Fashion show outdoes Clinton testimony

A Victoria's Secret event proves more popular than the president, as visitors swamp the site to see its lingerie-clad stars live.

A Webcast of a fashion show by Victoria's Secret last night attracted more visitors than President Clinton's grand-jury testimony, Broadcast.com said today.

Broadcast.com said the Web lingerie show drew a record 1.5 million total visitors, which it said was the largest audience ever for an event broadcast exclusively on the Internet.

"As significant as the record-breaking worldwide audience figures were for the live Webcast, they might have gone much higher had everyone who was trying to log on been successful," Victoria's Secret said today.

Some users reported they were not able to log on for the much-hyped event

"This marks the first time a corporation in the fashion industry has exclusively used Internet broadcasting to promote brands and products," said Mark Cuban, president of Broadcast.com, in a statement. A company spokeswoman said the previous record for the Webcaster was last September, when Clinton's grand-jury testimony was shown.

Added Ed Razek, president of brand and creative services for Intimate Brands, Victoria's Secret parent: "Worldwide Internet audience figures like these have only been associated with prime time national television programming."

Real Networks also announced that 250,000 RealPlayers were downloaded yesterday, with peak download rates of 30,000 an hour. The fashion show was broadcast exclusively in RealAudio and RealVideo.

Victoria's Secret predicted that the site will receive more than 250 million hits during the week of the event.

"The Web is proving to be a great extension for Victoria's Secret," Razek said. Victoria's Secret launched its Web site in December, joining other brick-and-mortar retailers on the Internet. The company announced its plans in a Super Bowl ad and also ran ads on the Web and in newspapers.

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