Advanced Television

Data: Sports cause 2023’s biggest spikes in web traffic

January 29, 2024

Champions League football and NFL games caused the biggest spikes in web traffic in Europe and the US in 2023, according to a 12-month network traffic analysis from Internet Exchange operator, DE-CIX.

In addition, global traffic across DE-CIX platforms has increased by 23 per cent vs 2022, with 59 exabytes of data flowing across its Internet Exchanges throughout the year. The busiest day for internet traffic in Europe was on November 8th 2023, the fourth matchday in the Champions League, which saw action from Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Manchester United, Inter Milan and PSV Eindhoven.

In the US, numerous peak traffic records were set in 2023, where the company runs five Internet Exchanges in New York (NY), Chicago (IL), Richmond (VA), Phoenix (AZ) and Dallas (TX). Most recently, a new record was set in the week of January 21st 2024 when the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Buffalo Bills in the NFL playoffs, with data rates from DE-CIX’s Dallas exchange exceeding 1 terabit per second (Tbit/s) for the first time. A surge also followed the January 28th matches when the San Francisco 49s and the Chiefs secured their places in Super Bowl LVIII.

The total of 59 exabytes has nearly doubled since 2020 (32 exabytes), with the equivalent of 54 million hours of video streamed every day across DE-CIX networks (19.6 billion hours of video streamed) in 2023. According to DE-CIX, usage varied significantly over the year, with gaming in exceptionally high demand at the beginning of the year and video conferencing, which found regular usage in spring and late summer, plummeting during vacation months.

This increase is global

For example, data throughput at peak times at DE-CIX New York has increased by around 22 per cent to 1.61 Tbit per second compared to the beginning of 2023. This trend is also visible at DE-CIX Dallas (Peak: 1.01 Tbit/s, comparison January 2023: +61 per cent), DE-CIX Madrid (Peak: 1.54 Tbit/s, comparison January 2023: +44 per cent), and DE-CIX Mumbai (Peak: 1.48 Tbit/s, comparison January 2023: +32 per cent). The positive trend is also reflected in the broader regions where the company is active. For example, in 2023, data traffic amounted to around 3.1 exabytes in Southern Europe, 5.7 exabytes in India, and 6.4 exabytes in North America.

How much is 59 exabytes?

  • The transmission speed of data is specified in terabits per second (Tbit/s).
  • 1 terabit per second is 10³ Gbit/s, 106 Mbit/s, 109 kbit/s, or 1012 bit/s, or 1,000,000,000,000 bit/s.
  • 8 Terabits = 1 Terabyte (TB) and 1,000,000 TB = 1 Exabyte (EB)
  • 59 exabytes (EB) is the storage capacity of 460,625,000 smartphones (each with 128 gigabytes of storage space).


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