Yahoo’s Winning The World Cup Contest In U.S.

Over a third of visitors to the leading World Cup-related sites in the U.S. are going to Yahoo’s site, according to Hitwise, which monitors 10 million U.S. web users.

Here are its numbers on a self-selected list of 15 such sites…

Two interesting observations…
1) The second most popular site is one of the few that stream live matches for free.
2) The official tournament site is besting media operators like ESPN (NYSE: DIS), Foxsports and (and users are spending more time on than anywhere else).

Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) piled on 69 percent more visits in the tournament’s opening week, but ESPN3 and Foxsports increased their share more than others, writes Hitwise analyst Heather Dougherty.

Yahoo signed David Beckham for a marketing campaign in which he was to provide content for the site, but nothing discernible has yet happened and the deal, which sees Beckham’s image used in a high-profile Yahoo Sports ad campaign, looks more like a marketing exercise.

In the UK, leading commercial broadcaster ITV said it clocked an average 130,000 viewers for each of the World Cup games it streamed on last week.