As many as 12 million viewers will tune into the NFL combine at some point to watch draft prospects do nothing more exciting than run sprints and lift weights.
Other than coaches, general managers and scouts, who makes time in the middle of the day to devote to projecting a kid’s future?
The answer won’t surprise anybody with a fantasy football team. For them, the combine has become must-see TV.
The explosive growth in the audience for both has gone hand in hand. The combine has nearly doubled its audience since 2007. The number of fantasy competitors, meanwhile, is expected to top 30 million this year, but more impressive is how many have become serious players.
The combine began in 1982 as a way to save teams from traveling around the country to scout prospects. But it didn’t earn a spot on most fans’ sports calendar until 2004, when the fledgling NFL Network showed a handful of highlights during a one-hour studio show. This year, the network will beam 45 hours of live programming.
Growing Fantasy Legions Pump Up NFL Combine Appeal