Visitor Monitoring Battle of the Network Stars: Two Sports Media sites ready for Prime Time (Part 1) | Keynote

Battle of the Network Stars: Two Sports Media sites ready for Prime Time (Part 1)

By Aaron Rudger | March 24, 2014

CATEGORIES: Web Performance

It was a busy weekend for the NCAA Basketball Tournament and sports enthusiasts in the US had their eyes glued to the action. Today’s modern sports fan is often locked into multiple screens allowing him/her to track multiple games, stats, stories, Twitter feeds, blog posts and more. As Sports Media sites compete to capture and retain the attention of fans, the quality of the user experience across those sites plays a huge role in how long someone will spend on the site and whether they’ll keep coming back.  Consequently, in a business driven by advertising, user experience has a direct impact on the bottom line. As part of our Keynote March 3-Screen Shootout we’re monitoring the top five sports media sites to capture their user experience across the desktop, tablet and smartphone screens.  What have we found so far?

Over the past few days, Sports Media sites as a whole didn’t do that well. Of the five sites we looked at, the ESPN and CBS Sports sites distanced themselves from the pack with varying degrees of success. While each of them did well on fronts, we also saw areas in which they could improve. The other three sites have some catching up to do. Fortunately, there are some common themes that undoubtedly led to poorer performance. Let’s take a look at why ESPN and CBS Sports finished on top.


In general, the smartphone user experience of Media sites was the poorest of the four site brackets (others being Apparel, Food, and Universities). The average response time of Media smartphone sites was 28.80 seconds over the past 3 day. ESPN was the best of the lot, nearly twice as fast as the closest competitor. Their site availability was a respectable 98.16%. Media 1_1


When comparing tablet performance and availability of the sites in our four brackets over the past few days, Media was once again the slowest (3.53 second average), compared to Food sites which were fastest (2.33 seconds on average). The CBS Sports site stood out on the tablet with a good response time (sub-three seconds) and perfect availability.

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Media were the slowest out of the four brackets with a 5.927 second average response time over the three day period.  (Food desktop sites were again the fastest with a 2.656s average response time). CBS Sports was again the fastest site, and while their availability was good, they were a notch behind ESPN.

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