The announcement late Sunday evening by President Obama that Osama Bin Laden had been killed created extraordinary traffic for and pointed the emerging role of online video viewing in cable-connected homes.

In this interview with Beet.TV, Charles Tillinghast, President of, says there were some 300,000 simultaneous video views of the President's announcement, a very high number during non-work hours.

While it is difficult to say how many of these online viewers also subscribe to cable, Tillinghast says the high numbers indicate how consumers multi-task around breaking news, watching television but using the Web to get briefed when they join a story, in what he calls "reading in" and "watching in."

Viewership Sunday night on MSNBC, the cable channel, passed 1.1 million, according to TV Newser.  Here's a report in The New York Times about broadcast television viewership that night.

We spoke with Tillinghast late yesterday afternoon at the WPP Global Video Summit where he was a speaker. The event was hosted by Kantar Video, a WPP unit.

Andy Plesser