More than one million football fans visited Football League Interactive (FLi) websites on Wednesday, making fixture release day 2014 a record day for the network.
At 9am the fixtures for the forthcoming Premier League and Football League seasons were published and 1,002,228 unique visitors came to FLi sites during the day, a 30 per cent increase on the 736,993 visitors who came to the network on fixture release day in 2013. Total page views were also up 75 per cent to 2,411,426 compared with 1,377,467 last year.
The big challenge for our FLi digital team and our tech partners is keeping the sites up and accessible under the weight of a huge spike in traffic at 9am. Thanks to lots of hard work and preparation in the weeks before fixture release we were able to keep the sites across the network – 90 club sites and the Football League’s official site – live and refreshed throughout the day.
Having successfully rolled out new mobile sites to the 90 Premier League, Football League and Football Conference clubs within the FLi network earlier this year, it was particularly pleasing to see mobile traffic grow by 135 per cent year-on-year from 287,000 views in 2013 to 674,000 this year. Dwell time on mobile also increased from and average of 30 seconds in 2013 to two minutes this time around.
My role on the day was focused on our fixture release live blog and my part in the hard graft getting the network ready for fixture release day was small, but I know my colleagues in London and Preston put in an awful lot of hard work to get it right on the day, so it’s great to see such encouraging audience growth. And to get some positive feedback from the clubs we work for.