Web Traffic To U.S. Sports Sites Grew in August

Web Traffic To U.S. Sports Sites Grew in August

Workplace traffic to U.S.-based sports websites was up by 26% in August, compared with traffic to online sports destinations in August 2007, Nielsen Online reported Thursday.

The Beijing Olympics and the start of fall football season may have had something to do with the spike in traffic, Jon Gibs, vice president, media analytics, Nielsen Online, noted.

“With broad interest in the Olympics, and the ramp up of the college and professional football seasons, August was a busy month for online sports fans,” Gibs said.  “The Web offered 24/7 access to news, results and video, and fans demonstrated a healthy appetite for information about their favorite athletes and teams.”

Overall, unique traffic to sports sites from workplaces grew from 33.4 million unique visitors in August 2007 to 42.3 million this August.

Working women made up a significant portion of that traffic, according to Nielsen.  The number of female unique visitors who visited sports-related websites from work in August grew by 37% — from 12 million in August 2007 to 16.4 million this August.  In comparison, sports sites drew 25.8 million male unique visitors this August — up by just 21% from 21.4 million visitors in August 2007.

Yahoo! Sports was the most popular online sports destination, attracting 18.7 million unique visitors at workplaces in August — a 112% increase over traffic to the site last August.  ESPN and FOX Sports on MSN rounded out the top three, with 11.9 million and 7.7 million unique visitors, respectively, according to Nielsen. 

NBC’s custom website, NBC Olympics, also attracted significant workplace traffic in August, drawing 13.8 million unique visitors — or 20% of the active at work Web population. 

Among the top ten sites, Fantasy Sports Ventures Network — up 285% over August 2007 — showed the largest growth in unique workplace visitors.

Website Unique Audience:

August 2007

(in 000s)

Unique Audience:

August 2008

(in 000s)

% Change
Yahoo! Sports 8,820 18,727 112%
ESPN 10,314 11,936 16%
FOX Sports on MSN 6,824 7,714 13%
SI Digital Sites 3,913 6,490 66%
CBS Sports 5,092 5,708 12%
NFL Internet Network 4,630 5,692 23% 5,521 5,486 -1%
AOL Sports 3,905 3,993 2%
Fantasy Sports Ventures Network 1,019 3,926 285% N/A 3,026 N/A
Sports Category 33,405 42,252 26%
Source: The Nielsen Company (August 1, 2008 – August 31, 2008).

View the full press release.

Read coverage of Nielsen’s findings in The Vancouver Sun.