How has the Internet Changed Fantasy Football?

Fantasy Football Goes Online

After being present on computers for years as an aid in calculating points, Fantasy Football eventually rose in popularity by its wide use on the Internet. In 1995, Fantasy Football officially moved to the Internet with ESPN offering Fantasy Football ’95 on its website. (Nidetz) The website offered online leagues, and more importantly, calculated points for fantasy owners. Since that time, the popularity of Fantasy Football has increased exponentially. One of the reasons for this increase in popularity is the relative ease the Internet has given the game compared to how the game was played in the past. While Fantasy owners used to seek out information in print media in order to keep score for their teams, Fantasy Football websites update scoring automatically and many update their scoring live. Owners can watch their team play a friend’s team much like a real football game as both teams rack up points head to head. Because of the explosion in popularity, Fantasy Football is now offered by many companies, the most popular being ESPN, Yahoo!, NFL, and CBS. Fantasy Football is free to its users on each of these advertiser-supported websites.

Fantasy Football Gains Popularity

One measure to see how the popularity of Fantasy Football has grown is to do an Internet search. An Internet search for “Fantasy Football” in 2002 brought up 1.2 million hits, and at that time roughly half the amount of hits for “President Bush.” Searching “Fantasy Football” on Google now reveals over 42 million hits while “President Bush” manages only 39 million. (Zabarenko) Statistics like these show how the demand to play Fantasy Football has been greatly increased by the Internet.

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