Even in defeat, Manchester United has found itself breaking records, this time an index of global news traffic volume recorded after the team’s unexpected exit from the Champion’s League on Wednesday night.
According to Akamai’s Net Usage Index for News, in the immediate aftermath of the game, the company recorded 6,583,294 page views per minute with a thematic connection to the event, the second highest surge since the Index was launched in 2005.
Despite the popularity of Manchester United and the game of football (US readers: ‘soccer’), this is still an unusually high level of traffic for what was only a group stage game.
Manchester United lost 2-1 to unfancied Swiss champions FC Basel, which could explain the huge interest.
For comparison, the traffic is also larger than the 5,398,731 recorded during the Royal Wedding on 29 April 2011, which single-handedly turned the UK into an Internet hot spot.
The largest ever news spike was recorded on 24 June 2010 for a combination of a long tennis match at Wimbledon and matches during the FIFA World Cup held in South Africa.
Most of the prominent events on Akamai’s top-10 list are sporting events and tend to include large amounts of traffic from the world’s number one Internet news-consuming society, the USA.
All but one happened during 2010 and 2011, which underlines the massive growth in the Internet as a news channel.