Global round-up: World Cup drives digital growth

World Cup drives digital growth

There has been strong growth in unique browsers across the major digital UK mastheads, most likely as a result of the FIFA World Cup coverage, ABC online figures for June show.

The Telegraph, which had the biggest boost in readership from May with a 21 per cent increase in daily uniques during June, broke masthead traffic records during the month.

In a statement Newsworks wrote that The Telegraph’s daily average of 3.9 million unique visitors (78.7 million over the month) is a record for the website, with traffic peaking at 5 million on the opening day of the World Cup. The Telegraph’s Project Babb microsite, which was established for World Cup coverage, will be expanded to cover all football news as a result of its success during the Cup.

Of the major news websites in Britain, there was across the board growth in month-on-month unique browsers. The exception was MailOnline, which recorded a 0.8 per cent drop in average daily readers. However the group remains the digital powerhouse of Britain, with its 168 million monthly uniques for June, easily eclipsing that of the next strongest website, The Guardian, with its 100 million uniques.

The Independent’s website saw a month-on-month growth in unique browsers of 12 per cent, with the Mirror seeing growth of 9 per cent and the Standard’s website experiencing a 7 per cent growth in readers.

For year-on-year figures, all the major websites have experienced large percentage growth, with the Mirror performing best, up 86 per cent for daily uniques on last year.

Murdoch denies Tribune rumour

News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch has publically refuted rumours that  the company is planning to buy newspaper group Tribune Co.

Although Mr Murdoch has not publically commented on his broadcasting group 21st Century Fox’s bid to acquire Time Warner, he tweeted late last week, in response to discussion about a potential bid for the Tribune papers: “Sorry can’t buy Trib group or LA Times – cross-ownership laws from another age still in place”.

Mr Murdoch was referencing Federal Communication Commission regulations that restrict the amount of newspapers or television stations a single corporation can own simultaneously.

The Tribune Group, which has been recently valued at $635 million, would a much smaller coup than a successful bid for Time Warner, for which Fox offered $80 billion.

Forbes sells stake to Hong Kong

Forbes Media recently agreed to sell a majority stake of its company to a group of investors from Hong Kong, a transaction that valued the overall group at $475 million.

The investor group, Integrated Whale Media Investments (IWM), plans to leverage the Forbes brand to do “deals in real estate, business clubs and financial services” according to a report in The New York Times.

An analysis of the deal by the Columbia Journalism Review said that it would be hard to imagine an American investor paying half the price for an ownership stake in the company with the valuation of its assets at close to half a billion dollars – writing that the brand has “outsized allure for rich people in Asia”.

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