As the new NFL season approaches so does another year of the ever growing phenomenon known as fantasy football.
Fantasy football is a game that is played by people drafting an imaginary team of NFL players, who then score points according to the actual performance of their players.
According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) over 40 million people in North America are playing fantasy sports this year with about 70 percent of those people playing fantasy football.
The FSTA also reported that there is a 13 percent increase of players this year when compared to the last time they published a report which was in 2012.
With the popularity of fantasy football growing, more and more companies have tried to get into the fantasy football business.
DirecTV is launching a new channel that is 100 percent focused on Fantasy Football.
“The channel is designed for the most avid fantasy football players,” said Kimberly Cole, a DirecTV employee.
“The fast paced channel is devoted to fantasy football information and entertainment.”
The NFL Fantasy Zone channel is planned to air Sundays from 1-7:30 p.m. EST and is free to any DirecTV customer that has the NFL Sunday Ticket package.
“The channel is so cool because it allows you to track every player on your fantasy football teams easily,” Cole said. “My kids and I are definitely looking forward to it.”
Other companies such as Fox, Yahoo and ESPN also have gotten into the fantasy football business with a slew of fantasy football related content ranging from mobile applications to fantasy football podcasts.
“Fantasy football is a way to get more involved with the actual sport of football and not just your favorite teams,” said Billy Bracamonte, a current MCC student.
“Fantasy football forces you to follow other teams and players so you know how your team is doing,” Bracamonte said.
When asked why he thinks it is so popular Bracamonte responded by saying that he thinks its due to the thrill of competing against other people.
“Some people play for fun but others play for more than that,” Bracamonte said. “There are cash leagues that people play in and obviously those leagues are really competitive because of what’s at stake.”
Bracamonte said hes more of a casual player but is open to participating in more competitive leagues
“I think I’m a pretty good player would like to try out a cash league to test my knowledge,” Bracamonte said.
When asked if he recommends fantasy football Bracamonte replied with the “obvious” answer.
“Obviously if you are a football fan and like competition you should be playing fantasy football.” Bracmonte said.