Fantasy Football season causes jump in web traffic according to comScore

comScore Media Metric recently released the top 50 U.S web sites for the month of August 2013. There were two factors that they cited for increase in traffic:
  • Back to school increased education and retails sites categories
  • Start of fantasy football season increased traffic for online gambling category
One can argue that fantasy football is not gambling but that is another blog discussion. For the sake of just reporting what comScore found, the online gambling category increased 9% from 12.7 million unique users to 13.9 million unique users for that segment. This would be traffic that was generated by fantasy owners researching and preparing for their upcoming drafts. The report does not mention if the traditional sports sites such as ESPN, Yahoo, CBS, and NBC's fantasy section were included in this ranking or if the sites were indeed the fantasy content and games sites such as Footballguys, RotoWire, FanDuel, KFFL, etc.

In the individual websites section of the report, Yahoo! remained on top of all internet visitors with 196.4 million unique users. It was only in July when Yahoo! reclaimed the top spot away from Google when Yahoo had 196.6 million users vs. Google's 192.3 million users.

CBS Interactive was 8th at 82.4 million users (up from 81.5 million in July), Comcast NBCUniversal was 15th at 60.4 million (down from 64.0 million in July), and ESPN was 26th with 38.3 million unique users (up from 31.3 million in July).

MY TAKE: The start of fantasy football causing a change in web site traffic that affects comScore is an accomplishment that represents the increasing influence and scope of the industry. It is interesting to note that the start of the NFL football season was not mentioned in the report, in addition, was not listed in the top 50 sites for the month. That does raise some question on if the fantasy sports industry has gotten bigger than the sport itself.

Next month report can also provide some clues about the habits of the fantasy football owners. Will they continue to provide increased traffic to the online gambling category or were the drafts and draft preparation the height of fantasy football owners online activity?

Related: August 2013 comScore Press Release