How fantasy football helps NFL viewership

It’s that special time of year again where millions of people obtain any and all information, preparing for upcoming fantasy football drafts. The NFL regular season doesn’t begin for another three weeks, but fans are gearing up to start drafting their fantasy teams.

In 2014, 70% of people who owned a television watched at least some part of an NFL game in 2014. That equates to over 205 million people. That number surely went up in 2015. Of those fans that tune into the NFL during the fall and winter, 75 million have expressed interest and are likely to join a fantasy football league.

A majority of people get into fantasy football leagues in hopes to winning a cash prize, while there are some out there that just play for fun. When people have money invested in something, they tend to pay more attention to said money so they don’t just throw it away. That means that fantasy football draws in viewers to various games that didn’t tune in before.

There are various different rules settings that can be made from league-to-league. Some wish to keep the standard rules of whatever particular site they choose to run the league, while others elect to change the scoring and rules. Sites like ESPN and Yahoo! are two big ones for fantasy football. Draft Kings and Fan Duel are big money makers due to the daily fantasy leagues. These leagues allow players to invest money in hopes of bringing home a bigger prize.

Die-hard football fans, who are also die-hard fantasy football supporters will tune into the NFL each week regardless of who is playing. There are those that only like to watch their favorite team from week to week. With fantasy football, more viewers are going to flip the channel to the game that is on to see how their players are doing.

Games that were considered meaningless in the past now have a vested interested from millions of people. For example, a game between the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins isn’t a game that many outside of the respective fan bases would tune in for. However, more people would be more inclined to watch that game if they had a player on either team on their fantasy team.

The preparation that goes into a draft gives fans a fraction of a glimpse of what it’s like to draft and assemble a winning team. Countless amount of people loves to play arm chair quarterback or general manager, despite not fully understanding how things work. When fantasy draft day comes, those who enjoy being a GM of a team get all giddy and excited like it’s Christmas Day and there are tons of presents under the tree.

ESPN just ran a 28-hour marathon of all things fantasy football to get viewers ready for their upcoming drafts. That is a lot of content, but many viewers take that and run with it. Fantasy football adds more interest and drama to NFL games, more so than were already at that level. It also makes watching games more fun and more enjoyable, especially when certain players tear the competition up for a week and help the fantasy owner out.

The NFL is a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate that will always be the top dog when it comes to viewership. Fantasy football certainly helps draw viewers to more football games from September through February. More players who are fantasy football players are highly more likely to watch whatever game is on due to the teams they have put together.

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I am a 2013 graduate of Clarion University with a bachelor's degree in communications and a concentration in journalism. I aspire to be great. I love sports and professional wrestling. Follow me on Twitter @KIngEdward15 and engage in sports talk with me.

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