By Claire West

According to the latest Experian Hitwise United Kingdom - www.hitwise.com/uk report 1 in every 100 UK Internet searches is Sky Sports related.

With the first Barclays Premier League matches taking place during the weekend of August 14 and 15th, the football season is now truly underway. As you would expect, UK Internet visits to key football related websites increased significantly during the week ending 15/08/2010: the Official Fantasy Premier League site by 186%, Sky Sports by 15%. There was also a 12% increase in traffic to BBC Sport, but it has yet to reach the same level of traffic it experienced during the World Cup.

All of the three sites mentioned above ranked amongst the top 100 most visited in the UK for the w/e 15/08/2010, with BBC Sport in 13th position and Sky Sports at number 15. Joining them in the top 100, in 70th position, was the Sky Digital TV Shop, the place where people go to either purchase Sky TV or upgrade their packages. The site is most popular in the North East, although Walsall is the individual postal area that currently most over-indexes in terms of traffic. This perhaps reflects the fact that there are four teams from West Midlands (Aston Villa, West Brom, Birmingham City, Wolves) competing in the top flight of English football this season - the first time this has happened for 27 years.

The main driver for all this traffic was clearly the demand for the Sky Sports channels, and searches for the terms 'sky sports' and 'sky sports football' increased by 38% and 22% respectively over the same period. These were the two most popular of 3,700 different ways in which people searched for the channels during the week ending 15/08/2010. Aggregating all of these together using Hitwise's new broad matching tool, shows that all of these variations accounted for 1% of all UK searches during this period - i.e. 1 in every 100 searches in the UK was related to Sky Sports.