Second Screens Not Enough to Stop Internet Traffic Plunge During Super Bowl

On Sunday, February 7, when Super Bowl 50 was on, Internet traffic dipped significantly in several countries as people turned on their TVs to watch the game. However, in anticipation of Super Bowl 50, traffic to sports betting sites increased by 22.16%.

Traffic dropped 11.44% in the US at the start of Super Bowl

The following graph shows total traffic in the US on Sunday trended lower compared to the same time on Saturday. The significant dip at 18:00. ET coincides with the start of Super Bowl 50 pregame activities.

  • Traffic dipped 11.44% traffic in the US at 18:00 ET – compared to the previous hour (17:00 ET)
  • Traffic dipped 22.78% traffic in the US – compared to the same time (18:00 ET) on the day before (Saturday)

total-us-traffic

The same significant traffic trend was also seen in other countries at the start of Super Bowl:

global-traffic-impact-2

Traffic changes in three countries Columbia, New Zealand and Venezuela were significant showing increases of 20% or more.

The change in traffic in New Zealand stood out for us. American football is gaining popularity in New Zealand possibly explaining the traffic decrease.

What happened in Venezuela? Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel performed at the half-time show with the Youth Orchestra L.A. possibly leading to the increased interest in watching the game.

betting-sites-traffic

Activity on betting sites up 22.16% one day before Super Bowl

We also looked at traffic to sports betting sites. Our sample size was 223 domains. As expected we saw an upward trend in traffic with a spike on Saturday, February 6, the day before Super Bowl.

IBT reported that the betting line changed frequently the week before Super Bowl but settled in hours before kickoff possibly contributing to the last minute activity.

Finally, the traffic on betting sites leading up to the Super Bowl looked like this:

betting-sites-saturday-traffic

Conclusion

Super Bowl 50 was one of the most anticipated sporting events. Despite the availability of streaming to watch the event, most viewers are still heading to the TV for watching the game. As for online sports betting, the spike in traffic to betting sites the day before the game is likely related to the betting line being set close to the game, and possibly — people waiting till the last minute to put in their bets.

Methodology

The general traffic research is based on data from websites using Imperva Incapsula services from January 1, 2016, through February 7, 2016.

The sports betting sites research is based on data from 223 domains using the Incapsula service from Imperva for the period of January 1, 2016, to February 7, 2016.

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