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18.02.03


BBCi
BBC NEWS
SPORT


BBC News Online and BBC Sport Online are re-launched


BBC News and BBC Sport re-launch their websites this week making access much quicker and navigation easier.


The re-launch comes as latest figures reveal that use of BBC News Online stands at record levels.


Twenty-three per cent of all UK internet users - approximately five million people - regularly visit the BBC News website compared with 11 per cent three years ago.


A similar number of users from outside the UK also regularly visit the site.


Use of the BBC Sport site is also growing - traffic has doubled over the past two years and the site is now used by about two million people a week.


The Cricket World Cup is introducing BBC Sport to a whole new audience on the web.


The sport website re-launches on Thursday 20 February 2003.


The sites have been redesigned and have been made wider (800 pixels). This means there will be more news stories at the top of the page giving users greater choice.


The pages will also be easier to read and navigate. For example, users will now be able to view a whole page with a single scroll.


Users will also be able to download these sites 30 per cent faster following a series of technical improvements.


Richard Deverell, Head of BBC News Interactive, said: "These changes mark a significant improvement in the ease of use and the download speed for both the news and sports sites.


"However, the changes are evolutionary rather than revolutionary; they build on the success of these sites and I hope users will soon feel comfortable with the new designs."


The BBC News Online revamp, which goes live tomorrow (Wednesday 19 February 2003) also enables the pages to be more adaptable so in times of breaking news, when there is heavy demand, the pages can still download quickly.


Andrew Thompson, Head of New Media, Sports News and Development, BBC Sport, said: "Over the last two years, the BBC Sport website has built up an impressive user base establishing itself as the country's leading general sports site.


"The exciting new design will make the user's journey around our great range of content even more enjoyable - as well as helping to emphasise the strong links between the site and BBC Sport's television and radio output."


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