I appeared on ABC News this evening, talking about fantasy football, specifically daily fantasy. I will update this post when I can find the specific video on a permanent link, but for the next 24 hours you can go to this link and fast forward to 32:30 in the video.
There is a supporting article, which contains longer quotes – plus the first of the differently-coloured breakout quotes is also by me.
Fantasy sports expert Paul Montgomery, from Melbourne, has been involved in the business for more than a decade.
When he first started in the area, popular competitions were free to enter and lasted all year.
“Now you have daily fantasy, where it is effectively a merger with the gambling industry â€” you pay to enter and there are big prizes,” he said.
“There are half a million fantasy football nuts who could be converted into gambling adherence and this is an untapped market in some respects.
“With fantasy, you have an interest in every single game that one of your fantasy players is playing in, so it increases the viewership of AFL, NRL and every sport.”
The piece, by Ben Lisson, has to get through a bit of explanation for the general ABC audience, which is mostly where my quotes are used, with the young bearded gentleman providing the example of the hardcore DFS player.
Mr Montgomery said he expected advertising would be a key strategy for the emerging industry.
“If you’re worried about the amount of gambling advertising on TV, then daily fantasy might actually rival that in the next two or three years,” he said.
“The gambling industry has been able to advertise its way into the hearts and minds of those young male fantasy adherents and there’s nothing stopping them taking over fantasy sports.”
I gave a quote in the interview mentioning a figure of how big the main prizes could get, but that evidently didn’t make the piece. I also talked a bit about how fantasy sports might be affected by the rise of anti-gambling campaigner Nick Xenophon into the balance of power in the current federal election, but that also didn’t make it.
Overall, I was quoted correctly and in context so I am happy with how it turned out, even though it’s kind of a hit piece against fantasy. I knew that the reporter Ben Lisson would take that sort of negative line towards DFS, and that’s something I had no control over, but I thought it was important to establish at least one independent voice who could speak with authority on the industry whom viewers won’t assume is a paid shill for the bookies. Maybe this issue will get legs further down the track, so groundwork on giving the fantasy industry a voice is important in its own right. I expect there will be a need for more public discussion on this issue in future.