Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

NFL Fantasy Business Recovers Quickly

If there was one NFL-related business that might not recover from the short offseason due to the work stoppage, fantasy football would have been it.

Juana Arias | The Washington Post | Getty Images

An strong cottage industry which usually saw at least 25 preseason magazines produced less than five due to the uncertainty of who would be on what team.

"Magazines couldn't go to press in their usual window of early June," said Paul Charchian, president of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, an organization which represents more than 100 companies in the marketplace.

"Online companies, which represents more than 90 percent of our revenue were doing almost no business until after the lockout ended."

But Charchian said that since the lockout ended and a frenzied free agent period began, the industry is exploding, with many sites reported record-breaking sales, sign ups and page views.

"There was a ton of pent-up demand for fantasy football," Charchian said. "And consumers have moved quickly and en masse."

Charchian said that he thinks the fantasy print industry lost about $25 million from the lockout, but that the difference will be made up by fantasy players migrating to online for-pay premium content.

The FTSA released in study in June that showed that there are 32 million people playing fantasy sports in the US and Canada, up from 19.4 million in 2007.

Fantasy football is said to be an $800 million business and Charchian said that fantasy football players alone contribute to at least $25 million in revenue for DirecTV thanks to buying its Sunday Ticket package.

Said Charchian: "Fantasy remains recession proof."

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