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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
BBC site leads World Cup online
Italy lifted the World Cup, beating France
The BBC Sport website was the most popular online source for World Cup news in the UK, according to a study.

More than 3.4 million football fans used the site during the tournament, which was won by Italy on penalties.

The study, by internet research firm Nielsen/NetRatings, showed that the site was three time as popular as its nearest rival,

Six million people visited a sport or gambling website during the World Cup - one in four of all UK net users.

Ben Gallop, editor of the BBC Sport website, said: "Football coverage on the web definitely moved to the next level with this World Cup.

"We're obviously delighted to have seen such fantastic user numbers for the BBC Sport site, but there were so many superb sites out there that really seemed to capture the imagination of the audience."

He added: "I really enjoyed checking out the innovative and exhaustive coverage available across the web, whether it was from newspapers and traditional broadcasters to one-man bands and fan blogs."

Alex Burmaster, European internet analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings, said: "The 2006 FIFA World Cup will go down as an extraordinary success online.
1. BBC Sport 3.4 million unique users
2. 1.08 million
3. SkySports 950,000
4. Premium TV 835,000
5. Sporting Life 528,000

"The websites have provided a wonderful array of more interactive and engaging content than ever before.

"Whether this is text, photos, audio or video there has been something for everyone and by the time the next World Cup comes around the levels of interactive content online to maximise the experience of following the tournament could be absolutely mind-boggling."

The BBC's own figures indicated that as many as three million people a day were using the Sport website.

The most popular day for sports and gambling websites was Sunday 18 June - three days after England's second group match against Trinidad and Tobago and two days before the final group match against Sweden.

On that day 1.12 million people accessed a sport or gambling website.

Gambling site Betfair was the "stickiest" site with a person spending on average two hours and nine minutes visiting.

BBC Sport readers averaged 23 minutes per visit to the site.

More than 420 million web pages were viewed in total in the UK across all the websites surveyed.

Zidane off as Italy win World Cup
09 Jul 06 |  World Cup 2006


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