Chart of the Week: 2018 World Cup Watchers

World Cup Watchers

The World Cup is one of the most highly anticipated sporting events. This year’s tournament,  which spanned from June 14 through July 15, attracted viewers from all around the globe. In the United States, Fox and Telemundo were the only broadcasters that held the rights to air the games. How did the World Cup effect Fox Sports and Telemundo’s traffic? Which broadcaster was best able to capture the attention of football fans?

Fox or Telemundo: Who attracted the most soccer fans?

Verto Analytics took a look at the number of sessions and time spent during June 2018 compared to May 2018 among U.S. adults (ages 18 and above) on Fox and Telemundo in order to discover which broadcaster had the most engagement. A session refers to an uninterrupted period during which a selected digital brand (in this case, Fox or Telemundo) was used by a single user. Time spent is simply the amount of time a user spends with a given digital brand. According to Verto Watch data, Fox Sports had nearly 37.8 million sessions while Telemundo attracted almost 27 million sessions during the month of May 2018. During the month of June, Fox Sports saw a massive increase is sessions, jumping to nearly 42.9 million sessions, while Telemundo actually experienced a decrease down to just 11.2 million sessions. The decrease in streaming sessions may be due to the fact that Telemundo offered its live streams for free only through the group stage, or June 28, of the tournament, but not for the entire tournament. This may have led users to turn their attention to Fox Sports to watch the remainder of the games.

The amount of time that users spent on Fox Sports and Telemundo also reveals some interesting findings. During the month of May, users spent an average of seven minutes and 28 seconds on Fox Sports, while Telemundo users spent an average of nearly nine minutes (08:57) during the same time period. In June, Fox Sports users increased their average time spent to nearly nine and a half minutes (09:27), while Telemundo saw an incredible increase of 133% to almost 21 minutes (20:55) spent per user, a staggering twelve-minute increase. One explanation for this large disparity may be that football fans preferred to watch entire games on Telemundo while relying on Fox Sports to quickly check scores.

With 3.4 billion people expected to tune in worldwide, the World Cup was one of the highest-traffic events for broadcasters around the globe. In the U.S. alone, Verto data shows the dramatic impact that the World Cup had on user session traffic and engagement levels for Fox Sport and Telemundo: Fox Sports increased its number of user sessions by around 5 million, while Telemundo enjoyed a 12-minute increase in time spent per user.

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