Fantasy Football Fuels NFL Ratings

By Noah Davis 

We’re not sure what you did yesterday, but we spent the better part of a holiday party glued to the television. Not because the company was bad, but rather because we were in a fantasy football playoff deathmatch and we really needed 13 points from Brad Gronkowski. We can’t imagine we were the only ones, and the Los Angeles Times doesn’t think so either.

The paper takes a look at the role fantasy football is playing in helping the NHL achieve record ratings.

The growth of the Internet has fueled the rise of fantasy football, and that in turn is driving record growth in NFL ratings. Fantasy has become the TV executives’ friend for two reasons: It has vastly broadened the game’s appeal to include people who previously followed football lightly or not at all, and it rewards viewers for paying close attention from kick-off to the game’s final seconds. Fantasy has changed the meaning of the game far beyond the traditional rooting interest shared by hometown fans.

That’s one of the major reasons why 15 football games have been watched by at least 25 million people, 40 percent more than the entirety of 2009.

As for that 13 points? Yeah, not so much. But hey, at least there was mulled cider and friendship.