March Madness hits Mobile web

San Mateo, US and Oslo, Norway – March 30, 2012

When March Madness started to hit the offices of Opera Software, we thought “Let’s see if people are just as crazy about b-ball as we are”. That led to an investigation, using anonymous and aggregated user data from the Opera Mini servers, to see if people take to the mobile web to follow the tournament. They do.

In this State of the Mobile Web Report, we take a closer look at the March Madness sweeping sports fans all across the USA. The NCAA championships are tricky to follow as many of them are played at the same time. This, however, makes for a perfect use case of a second screen. The cellphone with Opera Mini or Opera Mobile to surf up some scores.

Some highlights we found:

  • Users of the top 5 sports sites grew 38% on the opening weekend compared to the February baseline we selected as comparison
  • Page views were up 53% over the same period, no doubt a result of people checking multiple games
  • Syracuse is by far the most popular team in the tournament, according to page view data in Opera Mini
  • We tried our hand at predicting the outcome of the games by comparing the page view data for each team’s home page. In the Sweet 16 our methodology accurately revealed the winner in 7 of 8 games.
  • But you still won”t see us in Vegas for the Final Four. In the Elite 8 round, our methodology revealed just one winner from the four games.

For more information about March Madness web viewer habits, see the full report at

Continued growth

Even though the month of February has fewer days than other months, and thus a possibility of a lower number of unique users than other months, Opera Mini continued to grow in February 2012.

In February 2012, the Opera Mini browser saw increases in unique users, page views and data consumed. In all, 160 million people used the Opera Mini browser in February, 108 billion pages were served.

For more information about Opera Mini statistics, go to