Fantasy Football Expected To Cost $8 Billion In Lost Work Time This NFL Season

The opening kickoff for the National Football League's 2013 season is still two days away, but an estimated 23 million Americans participating in fantasy football have already completed their drafts.

Employers can expect to lose at least an hour of work time each week over the course of the NFL season from employees who manage fantasy football teams. The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the average hourly earnings for non-farm, private sector employees at $23.98 for July.

John Challenger is CEO of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas.

“Now that’s not a very big deal if you’re talking about one person, but when you multiply it across the 23 million working Americans who are playing fantasy football, it costs employers $551 million plus. Now if you multiply that across the typical fifteen-week season, it actually totals over $8 billion in lost productivity.”

Challenger says across-the-board bans on fantasy football or sports websites at the office tend to backfire. Such bans damage employee morale and loyalty — potentially leading to even greater losses in productivity.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...