Transfer deadline day and the beginning of the RBS Six Nations helped BBC Sport break records during the month of January, recording its busiest day for traffic outside of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
A total of 6.9m unique UK browsers visited the site on Saturday 1 February following the closure of the transfer window the day before. Handheld devices proved to be the most popular way to follow the action, accounting for 68 per cent of total traffic compared to 32 per cent from desktop.
Saturday 1 February also recorded the highest number of visits from mobile devices with 3.3m unique UK browsers.
Outside of the Olympic Games BBC Sport also shattered a number of other records with 1.3bn page views in the UK and 1.6bn visits globally. Monthly traffic of 48.5m unique UK browsers and 70.1m globally also set records with two record weeks of traffic in the UK, 18.8m unique browsers in the week commencing 20 January, and 19.7m in the week commencing 27 January. Mobile and tablet usage accounted for half of overall traffic in January at 54 per cent.
“It’s always a great start to the year with the football transfer window and busy fixture list, followed by the RBS Six Nations, and this year we’ve got the Winter Olympics to look forward to as well. We want to make sure that audiences can access BBC Sport’s world class coverage wherever they are, on any device, and it’s great to see from these impressive stats that they’re doing just that,” said Chris Condron, head of sport product, BBC Future Media.
Friday 31 January’s transfer deadline day saw total traffic reach 6m unique UK browsers, an increase of 11 per cent on the same day in 2013. Mobile traffic grew some 35 per cent to 2.3m unique browsers with tablets accounting for 1m unique browsers over the same period, a growth of 67 per cent.
According to the data people switched devices depending on the time of day, in order to keep up with the latest news and gossip with desktop usage peaking between 12pm and 1pm. Handheld devices peaked between 10pm and 11pm. Top stories included transfer deadline day gossip with 852k unique browsers and transfer deadline day deals with 773k views.