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BizReport : Internet : June 24, 2010

Internet traffic in England plummets during World Cup matches

The world is watching and following the World Cup on televisions, mobile phones and, of courses, online. But what effect has the football tournament had on Internet traffic and search levels?

by Helen Leggatt

fifa world cup south africa logo.pngIt is being reported that while traffic to English websites drops dramatically during the country's matches, online streaming goes through the roof. In addition, 1 in every 88 Internet searches is World Cup-related and "vuvuzelas" are on everyone's lips, literally.

TV favored over Internet

Adtech reports that traffic to English websites dropped by 20% during previous England fixtures. In the run up to the games visitor numbers start to dwindle, dropping 10% an hour before kick-off. During the game Adtech's servers recorded just 80% of the usual ad impressions.

Today, Adtech have released new data showing traffic during the most recent game, against Slovenia, saw traffic levels drop by up to 35%.

Adtech predicts a drop off of more than 40% during the next match.

"Websites have hardly benefited at all from the actual games, in contrast to gains they saw from reporting before and after the matches when they were able to score points with the fast availability of online information," said Ken Parnham, UK & Ireland Country Manager, Adtech.

BBC "streaming" viewing record

The number of concurrent streams, or the number of people watching or listening at any given point in time, broke all records during England's World Cup game against Slovenia. Even though the figures are yet to be confirmed, initial estimates put the peak at 800,000, breaking the previous record of 270,000 live streams during last year's Murray-Roddick match at Wimbledon.

World Cup-related searches rise

Unsurprisingly, 1 in every 88 Internet searches in the U.K. was World cup related last week, according to Hitwise. The FIFA homepage is the biggest beneficiary of World Cup search traffic, and last week was the 7th most-visited website in the U.K., and the fourth most popular sports site.

"Vuvuzela" grabs attention

Last week there were more searches for the controversial horns than footballers Robert Green or Wayne Rooney. In fact, there was a 20% increase in searches for "vuvuzela". Perhaps more worryingly, there was also an increase in those looking to buy one.

Tags: Internet traffic, Internet use, online search, streaming, World Cup

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