World Cup In High Demand Online

    June 30, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The BBC has handled more than 1.7 million requests to view live World Cup matches on its site, while the official site hosted by Yahoo surpasses Major League Baseball in viewership for the week ending June 24th.

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Watching the matches on the BBC World Cup website has held solid appeal for soccer fans. The site reported the first two weeks of the quadrennial tournament have pulled in over 1.7 million requests for live video.

Interest has expanded well beyond the BBC’s English audience. Demand for England matches has been strong, but the opening game featuring Germany versus Costa Rica has been the biggest draw so far, with 153,909 requests for it.

With this being the first World Cup where matches can be viewed online in the UK, the BBC’s site has seen over 200 million page requests during the first two weeks of the World Cup. Around three million unique users have visited the BBC Sport site each day for World Cup and other information.

Yahoo has served as the host for the official FIFA World Cup website previously, and returns to that role again. Only and three of Yahoo’s sports-related sites exceeded the market share of visitors to the official World Cup site during the second week of matches.

Research firm Hitwise reported that the FIFA World Cup site received 4.05 percent of US Internet visits to sports sites. ESPN, the category leader, drew 5.33 percent.

Despite the ouster of the United States team after a shockingly poor performance in opening group play, traffic to the official World Cup site has remained robust. More people have been visiting it consistently than have traveled to, the official site of Major League Baseball since the Cup’s opening match.

“Hitwise data confirms that even though the US team is no longer in the tournament, US interest in the World Cup remains high,” Bill Tancer, General Manager of Global Research at Hitwise, said in a statement.

“The fact that the market share of visits to the Yahoo! FIFA World Cup website has been keeping steady with visits to the Yahoo! Sports MLB site, suggests that online marketers who invested with the Yahoo! FIFA World Cup website are getting a good value reflected in the emerging interest of soccer among US sports fans.”


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.