Retail in Asia

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Sports website traffic in India reaches new heights

comScore, Inc., a market research company specialising in the digital industry, released a report on Wednesday on internet traffic to sports websites in India as the country prepares for the India Premier League’s (IPL’s) third season. The study found that more than 10 million internet users at home and at work 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", says 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."

Yahoo! Cricket was the most visited sports site destination with nearly 4 million visitors, up 305 percent compared to last year. ESPN ranked second place 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 recorded high figures in the number of visits, such as (640,000 visitors), (523,000 visitors), (306,000 visitors) and Cricketnext (278,000 visitors).

Oncemore, figures for audience engagement saw significant increases. Total time spent, page views and visits to sports sites increased by 100 percent or more in the last year. The average sports category visitor spent 30.1 minutes at sports sites, viewing 41 pages of content and visiting the category nearly six times throughout the month.

Hodgman goes on to add, "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 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 harmonised approach to audience measurement and a comprehensive measure of internet usage, including traffic from internet cafes and mobile devices, which are both significant drivers of web usage in India.

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(Source: comScore, Inc.)