January 2010 saw a veritable flood of online traffic in sports websites. The over 10 million hits are twice the traffic the same period witnessed last year, comScore has said.

According to the internet marketing research firm, in January 2010, 10.3 million Internet users aged between 15 and older visited a sports site in India from their home or work location, growing 97 per cent from the previous year.

Yahoo! Cricket led as the most visited sports destination with nearly four million visitors, while ESPN grabbed the second slot with 3.5 million visitors. This was followed by Sify Sports with more than one million visitors.

Cricket-specific sites also posted strong visitation figures, including CricBuzz.com, CricketNirvana.com, KrishCricket.com and Cricketnext.

“The sports category has experienced tremendous growth throughout the last year as more Indians turn to the Internet as their first source of up-to-the-minute news on their favourite teams and players,” comScore Executive Vice President (Asia-Pacific) Will Hodgman said.

January saw a particularly strong increase in traffic fuelled by the IPL3 player auction, he added.

Mr. Hodgman said with IPL3 set to begin in March, sports sites would continue to do well.

These numbers exclude visits from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs. The average visitor surfing spends 30.1 minutes at sports sites, comScore said.