Determining the size of the ever-growing fantasy sports industry—the Gross Rotisserie Product—is not an exact science. How, for example, to account for the phone bills inflated by "trade talk" and the money spent tracking players using NFL Sunday Ticket and at sports bars, to say nothing of ratings boosts for the likes of NFL pregame shows and Baseball Tonight? Likewise, it's impossible to quantify the added interest in a sport from people following fantasy teams, or the opportunity cost of "work" hours whiled away on roster changes. (At an hour a week, 15 million players multiplied by, say, $20 an hour would equal $300 million.) We can, however, provide an estimate of the direct economic impact of fantasy sports in the U.S. for 2004.
League entry fees (15.2 million users x $95 average entry fee)
Gameplay Web services
Web tip/expert services
Total: $1.65 billion
SOURCES: User and average entry fee numbers are from the 2003 Fantasy Sports Trade Association survey conducted by the University of Mississippi. Advertising/branding estimate from sponsorship information and sources. Web services estimate is from public numbers for Sportsline, as well as estimates from Greg Ambrosius, president of the FSTA. Fantasy publication numbers are from Ambrosius and Krause Publications.