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Stuff.co.nz Sports - a Rugby Mecca

Media Statement

21 November 2006

Stuff.co.nz Sports - a Rugby Mecca

Stuff’s newly interactive rugby section offers All Black fans online reporting and match analysis combined with video footage soon after every game, and it’s proving popular.

Highlight packages from the All Blacks’ tests against France were viewed at least 65,000 times, and total video traffic from 13 - 19 November was 99,980 page impressions - 62 percent above the previous best week of the year. Overall rugby section page impressions have increased by 108 percent.

Weekly visitor numbers to the Stuff Sport section since tour coverage started are up by 21 percent on previous weeks and page impressions are up by 33 percent, demonstrating the engaging nature of the coverage. The rugby section performance has been particularly strong with visitor numbers up 58 percent and page impressions up 71 percent on previous weeks.

Fairfax Media acquired the exclusive online rights for match highlights for the All Blacks’ tests against France and this Sunday’s tour finale against Wales. Along with 10-minute highlight packages of the matches, Fairfax Media has also uniquely matched written sports commentary with audio visual footage. This has resulted in Stuff.co.nz becoming the place to go for rugby test reviews, exclusive footage and interactive story telling.

Stuff’s Sports Editor Cameron McMillan says that rugby fans will be hard pressed to find more written, audio and visual coverage on the current tour anywhere else.

“Stuff.co.nz has long been a ‘go-to’ for sports and in particular rugby fans - but it’s now even better than before. The option of having video and audio clips to accompany a story enhances the experience for the reader. It’s truly interactive and a real example of convergence in action,” says McMillan.

On the ground in France, Fairfax has two of New Zealand’s leading sports journalists; Michael Donaldson (Sports Editor, Sunday Star-Times), and Tony Smith (Rugby Writer, Christchurch Press), writing for Stuff as well as Fairfax’s newspapers. Award-winning photographer Peter Meecham, also from The Press, is filing daily pictorial coverage immediately after games, training sessions and other events.

In addition, former All Black ‘superboot’ Grant Fox, widely regarded as one of the game’s most astute and strategic thinkers, provides insightful interview-style commentary clips online on all aspects of the All Blacks tests.

It’s not just the All Blacks who are featuring on Stuff. The rugby section also has ten minute highlights of matches this month involving the Wallabies, Springboks, Pacific Islanders, Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

And along with highlights of this Sunday’s match against Wales, coverage of all the up-coming matches will continue throughout the season. Stuff.co.nz also includes archived commentary, video footage and image libraries.

With the rugby highlights and general tour coverage, video traffic on Stuff.co.nz for the first 19 days in November has already beaten the full month traffic for October by 18 percent for unique browsers.

The site is also proving commercially popular. Long-time New Zealand rugby sponsors, Philips NZ, is on board with Stuff as principal sponsor of the coverage for the duration of the tour.

* All figures are from Nielsen/NetRatings SiteCensus

ENDS

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