As per the survey based on 1,434 respondents, who engage with online fantasy sports (OFS), 60% of fantasy sports users claim to now watch or follow sports more than before because of fantasy sports.
Also, 87% of those who play fantasy sports, claim that they now research or browse more information to be able to make a better strategy when playing fantasy sports.
A majority of users also said that they have started watching new types of sports because of their interest in fantasy sports, while 48% of users now watch every game irrespective of team or country.
“Fantasy sports is a powerful fan engagement tool to increase sports consumption,” said John Loffhagen, chairman, FIFS.
He added that while it is intuitive to think that users of fantasy sports would naturally consume more sports, FIFS wanted to validate the hypothesis.
“When sports fans create their own virtual teams on OFS platforms before the match start time, they consume a lot of sports content online to do their research. After the match begins, OFS users watch the sports match closely to check on the performance of the players they have selected and their own ranking on the leaderboard. Fantasy sports is thereby supporting the increase in consumption of overall sports including longtail and non-mainstream,” he added.
As per the survey, cricket followed by football and kabaddi, are the most popular sports amongst fantasy sports users. It also highlighted that 38% users lookup social media updates as sources of information for sports content. However, when it comes to watching, TV remains the primary source.
Also, more than half of the respondents said they have started consuming more than five hours of sports content per week, after playing fantasy sports.
“As fantasy sports is emerging as a strong fan engagement platform in India, it was interesting to find out how people across demographics are consuming the new phenomena of fantasy sports and consequently its impact on sports consumption in India. Viewership has moved beyond home leagues and to a new type of sports,” said Anand Parameswaran, EVP – Insights Division, Kantar.
The survey was conducted amongst fantasy sports users, predominantly male and a mix of masters students, salaried and self-employed professionals.