Accused of $13B productivity loss, fantasy players rat on World Cup and March Madness co-workers

According to a Challenger, Gray and Christmas, Inc. report, fantasy football results in a $13B loss in productivity of workers playing at work.

The loss has doubled since 2012 when the same Chicago firm estimated that the loss of fantasy football cost employers $6.5 billion.

The $13 billion is based upon the measure that an average worker will earn $24.45 per hour. The number of workers are estimated to be 18.3 million based on a percentage of total fantasy players of the 31 million reported by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. Then using data from the FSTA on the time fantasy players spend managing and researching, the firm estimates that workers will spend 2 hours a week at work on fantasy sports. Finally, the cost is multiplied across a 15 week fantasy football season

($24.45 per hour  X  18.3 million players at work  X  2 hours a week  X  15 weeks) = $13.423 billion

The report also states that business will lose bandwidth capacity as workers use the companies network to play fantasy sports.

The purpose of the report though is to not cast fantasy sports as a tangible loss that can be recouped by business. It states that business trying to curb fantasy sports activity can experience other productivity loss in the form of morale and loyalty.


I agree with the report in that the the $13B may seem like a large number however the loss is not a tangible number. You could make the argument that a worker spending 30 minutes a week getting and drinking coffee multiplied by the entire year would equal the same productivity loss. Think of the backlash if an employer tried to ban coffee.

The two main takeaways that the report highlights is the growing number of fantasy sports players there are and the amount of time fantasy players are spending on this obsession. The FSTA estimates that 41 million people will play fantasy sports this year in US and Canada.