Sky Sports is the most popular sports news website in the UK, according to a new ranking by Press Gazette.
Based on data provided by Ipsos iris, 6.4 million unique visitors (13% of internet users aged over 15 in the UK) visited the website and apps of Sky Sports. The brand, which is owned by US telecommunications giant Comcast, is the best-known sports subscription site in the UK. While some users to the site will have been there to watch the live sports coverage, the site also has a strong sports news offering covering all major sports including football, Formula 1 and rugby.
It is followed by Sportbible, part of the Ladbible group (3.2 million visitors, up 3% month-on-month). The company which was listed on the London Stock Exchange last December has grown rapidly in the nine years since it was founded as a social media publisher.
Most popular sports news websites in the UK (monthly UK audience):
- Sky Sports (6.4 million)
- Sportbible (3.2 million)
- ESPN (2.12 million)
- Give Me Sport (1.7 million)
- Football.London (1.2 million)
- Team Talk (1.1 million)
- Sportskeeda (969,986)
- Racingpost (867,473)
- Football 365 (859,747)
- Cycling Weekly (848,203)
It was followed by the digital properties of US cable sports broadcaster ESPN (2.12 million people, 4% reach), leading Facebook sports publisher Give Me Sport (1.7 million people, 3% reach) and Reach’s Football.London which reports on the capital’s teams (1.2 million people, 2% reach).
Reach has in recent years invested in its sports coverage. In addition to the sports reporting in its general news titles such as Manchester Evening News and Liverpool Echo, the regional publisher has rolled out several dedicated sports sites such as Football.London. Football Scotland, its site dedicated to the sport in Scotland ranked fifteenth in our list (689,500 visitors, 1% reach).
For the ranking, Press Gazette used the Ipsos iris ranking of the top online brand groups and selected the biggest which, in Press Gazette’s view, mainly cover sport. We excluded the websites of individual clubs and sports associations such as the FA and UEFA. BBC Sport is not included as it does not have a standalone URL but exists within bbc.co.uk, meaning we cannot capture the sport-only data.
Magazine and digital publisher Future, which has a large footprint in the sports market, had several brands in our ranking: Cycling Weekly (848,203 people - 2% reach), football-focused Four Four Two (593,938 people - 1% reach), Golf Monthly (413,548 people - 1% reach) and Cycling News (400,002 - 1% reach).
US subscription sports site The Athletic, which was acquired by The New York Times for $550m in January this year, ranked 11th in our list (794,531 visitors, 2% reach). In addition to its extensive coverage of US sports such as American football, The Athletic reports on sports followed closer to home such as European football and the Premier League.
Among the 25 brands on the list, Formula 1 News saw the highest month-on-month growth at 264% between May to June (408,936 visitors). It was followed by Cycling Weekly (up 68%), Golf Monthly (up 47`%) and the site of horse and greyhound racing daily Racing Post (867,473 visitors, up 43% month-on-month).
Topping the table for engagement were Sky Sports (158.5 million total minutes) and ESPN (73.3 million minutes). The fact that subscribers can watch live sport broadcasts on these sites may have contributed to the high number of total minutes spent with their content. Third-placed for engagement on this metric was Racing Post (47.1 million minutes).
Racing Post also topped the list when it came to page views, with 107.4 million page views, just ahead of Sky Sports (93.6 million).
Ipsos iris data is partly derived from a panel of 10,000 people aged 15 and over that is designed to be nationally representative. The participants have meters installed across 25,000 personal devices to passively measure website and app usage.
This is combined with data from participating websites that are tagged so all devices visiting the site can be identified and logged.
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