SBD/Issue 4/Sports Media

Web Sites See Significant Traffic Growth Around NFL Openers

Mirroring strong TV ratings seen for the first weekend of NFL play, many major sports Web sites also posted significant year-over-year traffic and engagement growth for the start of the football season. ESPN, according to internal Omniture data, recorded 49.3 million visits and 367 million page views to its NFL-related content via personal computers and wireless devices between September 10-14. The marks are up 38% and 41%, respectively, compared to the start of the '08 NFL season. Within that, ESPN also registered 112% year-over-year growth in visits from wireless devices and 77% growth in mobile page views. Meanwhile, FoxSports.com posted 27% year-over-year growth in visits to its site on Sunday, as well as 28% growth in page views. NBCSports.com similarly doubled its page views Sunday compared to the first Sunday of the '08 season, thanks in part to traffic from its Rotoworld.com fantasy sports site and a new content partnership with ProFootballTalk.com. SI.com recorded 1.88 million unique visitors on Sunday, up 74%, while its 9.8 million page views are up 17% year over year.

NBC STREAMS: NBC also recorded significant growth in its video starts for its live video companion to the Bears-Packers "SNF" game Sunday and the season-opening Titans-Steelers matchup on September 10. The net recorded 265,000 video starts for the opener, compared to 165,000 registered for the Redskins-Giants game that opened last season. Bears-Packers saw 264,00 video starts logged, up from the 216,000 for a Bears-Colts game that started last year's "SNF" schedule. For NBC's first two NFL games this season, the network averaged 55 minutes of time spent on the online video stream, versus 35 minutes for those first two games in '08.

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