Mumbai: comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, has released a report on traffic to Sports sites in India as the country prepares for the India Premier League’s (IPL) third season. The study found that more than 10 million Internet users at home and work locations in India visited a sports site in January 2010, nearly double the number from the previous year.
“The sports category has experienced tremendous growth throughout the last year as more Indians turn to the Internet as their first source of up-to-the-minute news on their favorite teams and players,” said Will Hodgman, comScore executive vice president for the Asia-Pacific region. “January saw a particularly strong increase in traffic fueled by the IPL3 player auction on the 19th of the month. With IPL3 set to begin in March, we expect to see continued growth at many sports sites as fans prepare for the tournament’s return to India.”
In January 2010, 10.3 million Internet users age 15 and older visited a sports site in India from a home or work location, an increase of 97 percent from the previous year. Yahoo! Cricket led as the most visited sports destination with nearly 4 million visitors, up 305 percent versus last year. ESPN grabbed the #2 position with 3.5 million visitors (up 109 percent) followed by Sify Sports with more than 1 million visitors (up 379 percent). Cricket-specific sites also posted strong visitation figures including CricBuzz.com (640,000 visitors), CricketNirvana.com (523,000 visitors),KrishCricket.com (306,000 visitors) and Cricketnext (278,000 visitors).
Not only did Sports sites achieve strong gains in visitation during the last year, but audience engagement also soared to record levels. Total time spent, page views, and visits to the Sports category all increased by 100 percent or more in the past year. The average Sports category visitor spent 30.1 minutes at sports sites, viewing 41 pages of content and visiting the category nearly 6 times throughout the month.
Continued Mr. Hodgman, “With the recent announcement that YouTube will have the official right to live stream the IPL cricket games, the Internet is poised to play an increasingly important role for cricket fans around the globe.”
comScore also recently announced the introduction of its MMX 360 service into the Asia-Pacific region. This new panel-based unified measurement service combines comScore’s proprietary Internet user panel with site server data to provide a harmonized approach to audience measurement and a uniquely comprehensive measure of Internet usage, including traffic from Internet cafes and mobile devices, which are both significant drivers of Web usage in India.