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Seasonal highs and lows of the Top 10 sports websites

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, January – December 2015, sample n = 50,276 Australians 14+

Over six million Australians 14+ (31%) visited sports websites in an average four weeks in 2015—ranging across rolling quarters from a peak of 34% in June to August down to 29% in October to December, Roy Morgan Research website visitation data shows.

The official AFL website, from Telstra Media, is the most-visited sports website in Australia: 1,457,000 visitors in an average four-week period last year. But more people visit during the AFL season, of course: between April and October, monthly visitation was much higher, and peaked at 1,826,000 during the May-July quarter. Just over a million visitors went to the site in an average four weeks in the off-season January-March quarter. Overall, this means visitation to the site showed seasonal fluctuation of between 25% above and 27% below the full-year currency result over the course of 2015.   

The number two website is Fox Sports, which 1,043,000 Australians visited in an average four weeks in 2015. Although the site’s content isn’t limited to particular sporting seasons in Australia or overseas, there was nevertheless a peak period (May to September) during which visitation was at least 10% higher than average. However, Fox Sports had the most consistent visitation throughout the year of any of the Top 10 sports websites, with quarters ranging between 14% above and 12% below the full-year result. 

In third is Cricket Australia, with 893,000 visitors per average four weeks. The peak period (>10% above norm) for visitation is from October to March, with a 2015 range between +35% in the October-December quarter (when the site briefly pips AFL as the most visited sports website in the country) and -41% in April-June.

Top 10 Sports Websites in 2015



2015 Visitation
(Number of visitors in an average four weeks)

Peak period/s in 2015
(>10% over full-year average)






Fox Sports




Cricket Australia




Wide World of Sports








SMH Sport


 Jan-Mar, Jun-Sept


ESPN cricinfo




The Age Sport




Yahoo!7 Sport




Fox Sports Pulse



Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, January – December 2015, sample n = 50,276 Australians 14+

Ninemsn’s Wide World of Sports website is fourth overall (727,000), with the same >10% peak period as Fox Sports (May-September) but a wider range: +20% or -20% in peak and trough quarters. 

In fifth spot with full-year visitation of 683,000 Australians in an average four weeks, the NRL website has the same >10% peak period as the AFL (April to October)—but it has a much wider range between its peak to trough quarters: +40% in June-August and -34% in October-December.

Overall in 2015, 624,000 Australians visited ESPN cricinfo in an average four weeks: between 801,000 in the January to March quarter (+29%) and 407,000 (-35%) in April to June.

Two Fairfax sports sites are the sixth and eighth most visited respectively: SMH Sport (659,000) and The Age Sport (574,000). Perhaps reflecting the seasonal range of interest in NRL and AFL sites, visitation to the SMH Sport peaks at 24% above its full-year average and bottoms out at 24% below, whereas visitation to The Age Sports is more consistent over the full year, with quarters between +15% and -13% of the norm.   

Yahoo!7 Sport reaches 538,000 Australians on average, and is almost as consistent throughout the year as Fox Sports, ranging from just +17% to -13%.

Fox Sports Pulse, with results and info on grassroots and community teams across many sports, has the longest peak period, stretching from February to September, but also the widest range: monthly visitation is 36% higher than average in June to August, but was 55% below in October to December.

Tim Martin, General Manager – Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Roy Morgan Research has long measured website visitation in Australian population terms, as well as sessions, page views and duration. Measurement of websites, apps, streaming and on-demand services are but just one component of our comprehensive cross-media measurement data.

“Our Single Source methodology enables us to compile a complete picture of audiences across television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and internet, plus cinema, outdoor, catalogues and direct mail—an integral component of measuring the true unique reach of cross-platform content and advertising campaigns.

“Our website measurement also offers seven-day usage figures. This is vital when integrating combined reach with newspaper print readership, radio listening and television viewing—monthly visitation figures are no longer the ideal way to understand audience habits in today’s digital world.

“Single Source also captures just about anything you could ever want to know about the media habits of consumers: their age, gender, location, lifestyle, attitudes, behaviours, and purchasing habits and intentions across the full range of industries.

“To simplify this complexity for businesses and media owners, we have developed some practical psychographic segmentation tools like Values Segments, Technology Adoption Segments, and Helix Personas.

“We are also now preparing to roll out Roy Morgan Audiences, which finally fulfils the inherent potential of digital by measuring and understanding the Australians accessing web pages and apps in real time, and not recounting them when they visit again on a different device another time.” 

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%