garners 9.4 million unique visitors in July with MSN alliance

The newly formed alliance between and the MSN network of Internet services contributed to a 265 percent increase in site visitors to on MSN, according to the latest ratings from Nielsen/NetRatings.

During July 2004, on MSN was the fastest-growing sports Web site in the United States with more than 9.4 million unique users.

Video streaming proved to be popular on the new MSN site as broadband users sought out millions of streams from FOX Sports and FOX Sports Net content, including clips from the "Best Damn Sports Show Period," "I, Max” and the Regional Sports Reports.

Launched July 1, the redesigned site offers fans and marketers exclusive editorial content and fast, easy access to breaking news, scores, streaming video and game highlights.

Several major sporting events in July, including the Tour de France, the British Open, Wimbledon and the Major League Baseball 2004 All-Star Game, helped propel traffic to on MSN.

Last month, the site also debuted its sports-and-entertainment-themed area called Funhouse for MSN users. The Funhouse became one of the most highly viewed sections on the site, appealing to a broad cross-section of the MSN audience.

The area focuses on light, entertaining sports news, including sports gossip and interviews from "Best Damn Sports Show Period" star Leeann Tweeden, extensive photo galleries from the world of sports and off-beat sports columns.

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