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Fantasy Sports Users Spend More Time In Front of Television on Gamedays

25 January 2013 Taylor & Francis

As the weekend approaches, you may notice your household’s fantasy sports user paying more attention to the television, according to a study out of the University of Alabama.

According to the study to be published in the January 2013 issue of Mass Communication and Society, fantasy sports users spend significantly more time watching sports than traditional sports watchers. Over 1,000 individuals were surveyed that either self-identified as fantasy sports users or traditional sports users, those that watch sports without incorporating. During the study the fantasy sports users spent up to eight more hours watching sports than the traditional users.

“This study is an attempt to bridge the gap between what we know about sports fans and what we know about fantasy sport players. There is some common perception that fantasy sport play is merely an ultra-obsessed fan, or Sports Fan 2.0,” Dr. Andrew Billings, the study’s author said. “While fantasy sport players are also, overwhelmingly, sports fans in general, they are different when considering why they consume sports media and why they are fans.”

The researchers discovered that fantasy sports users tuned in for different reasons than traditional sports users. Fantasy sports fans were more likely to watch sports for enjoyment, to pass the time, surveillance (to seek out information), and to affect their self-esteem (this depends on how good or bad their team or players perform).

“Over 30 million North Americans now play fantasy games and sport media consumption triples when someone is playing fantasy sports. These facts made fantasy sport a game changer in my eyes,” Dr. Billings said.

The article entitled “Why We Watch, Why We Play: The Relationship Between Fantasy Sport and Fanship Motivations,” was researched and written by Billings, who holds the Ronald Reagan Chair of Broadcasting at the University of Alabama, and Dr. Brody J. Ruihley, University of Cincinnati.

About Mass Communication and Society

Mass Communication and Society is a scholarly journal focused on publishing articles from a wide variety of perspectives and approaches that advance mass communication theory, especially at the societal or macro-social level. It draws heavily from many other disciplines, including sociology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, law, and history.

Visit the journal’s webpage at

“Why We Watch, Why We Play: The Relationship Between Fantasy Sport and Fanship Motivations” is available at:

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