Revamped Canal site draws big numbers

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PARIS -- French pay TV group Canal Plus has seen its new Web site double in popularity in the six months since its re-launch, boasting more than 2,354,000 unique visitors in February, Canal Plus said Tuesday.

The free, video-packed revamp of canalplus.fr saw a 112% increase in visitors in February. Site visitors tuned in to close to 11 million videos in February alone, with an average viewing time of seven minutes per page.

The group attributes the success of the new site partly to its live Web broadcast of such hit series as HBO's "Big Love" and popular sporting events including the Arsenal/Chelsea soccer game in December and the Rugby finals in the fall.

Upcoming events set to air live include soccer games Toulouse vs. Biarritz on March 29, Manchester United vs. Arsenal on April 13 and Real Madrid vs. Barcelona in May, along with the first episode of the new season of homegrown fiction "Engrenages."

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