via press release:
Kickoff Time: ESPN Fantasy Football is Back for the 2012 Season
Sixth annual SportsCenter Fantasy Draft Special airs August 16 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
Fantasy Football Now expands to two hours on ESPN2 beginning September 9
New ESPN Primetime Payoff pick ‘em game based on events of Monday Night Football
ESPN Fantasy Football presented by GEICO returns for its 18th consecutive season on ESPN.com. To date, page views to Fantasy Football content on ESPN.com are currently up 15 percent compared to last year. In 2011, unique users to ESPN Fantasy Football grew 19 percent compared to the 2010 season.
For the 8th consecutive year, the game will feature the broadest collection of expert analysis, news and statistical information available – all for free. ESPN Fantasy Football players can begin drafting (and mock drafting) on ESPN.com now and will be served by integration across ESPN’s many media platforms.
Additionally, ESPN will debut a new pick ‘em game titled ESPN Primetime Payoff presented by Best Buy based on the events surrounding Monday Night Football this Fall. Fans will be able to play every Wednesday during the season for a chance to be selected in the grand prize random drawing.
ESPN Fantasy Football presented by GEICO
This year, iPhone, Android and Windows Phone users on the go will have the added benefit of downloading the ESPN Fantasy Football app for free beginning in mid-August. As always, managers will be able to customize their league with a variety of features and options, including the ability create standard and public leagues, set up new rules and scoring, transfer existing keeper league settings, choose auction bidding over waivers for free agent pickups, select from multiple draft options (online auction, live online or automated online) and more. ESPN.com also provides multiple tools for the draft including a Fantasy Football Draft Kit that breaks down every player, a Mock Draft Lobby for players to prepare strategies of picks and the option to trade draft picks in leagues with a fixed draft order.
During the season, managers can follow ESPN FantasyCast for free live scoring in real-time during fantasy football Sundays, access embedded player information cards and have the ability to add/flag players to better manage the waiver wire throughout the season. Each league also features message boards, chats, polls and smack boards. All features are highlighted by ESPN.com’s fantasy experts with both weekly player projection totals and position ranks.
ESPN Primetime Payoff presented by Best Buy
New to Fantasy for the upcoming NFL season, ESPN Primetime Payoff on ESPN.com and accessible on mobile and tablet devices is the debut pick ‘em game based on the events of Monday Night Football. Every Wednesday during the season, twelve game-related questions will be released for participants to answer for the following week. During halftime, four additional bonus questions – worth two points each – will be released that are directly relevant to what has happened in the game. Participants gather points throughout the season based on correct picks, which will transfer as entries to the overall grand prize random drawing of $1 million. Additionally, the overall highest scoring player in the game will receive a check for $50,000. The game will include social media integrations like message boards and the ability to submit halftime questions via Twitter hashtag #primetimepayoff.
Fans who visit ESPN.com will find the most informative and comprehensive news, analysis and insights in the industry. ESPN has assembled an unmatched roster of writers, analysts and media personalities, including:
- Matthew Berry (a.k.a. “The Talented Mr. Roto”), a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame and Fantasy Sports Trade Association Hall of Fame, will reveal positional rankings on Wednesdays and release his signature “Love/Hate” columns on Thursdays. He will also appear in a variety of video segments;
- Award-winning analyst Christopher Harris will provide comprehensive rankings and game observation-based analysis through his weekly column and digital original series on ESPN.com; and
- ESPN.com Fantasy Insider Eric Karabell will blog daily and post his popular weekly Flex Rankings every Thursday.
Other contributors include FSWA award-winner Tristan Cockcroft and ESPN Insider K.C. Joyner. Fans will also find insight from ESPN.com’s football experts and analysts, including Hall of Famer John Clayton; Mike Sando, Dan Graziano, Kevin Seifert, Bill Williamson, Pat Yasinskas, James Walker and Paul Kuharsky of the NFL Blog Network; and Scouts Inc.’s Matt Williamson.
- ESPN Fantasy Football App – The free app for iPhone, Android and – for the first time – on Windows Phones features team management, FantasyCast live scoring, news, videos and Tweets from ESPN Fantasy experts, league message boards and more;
- Mobile Team Management – Users with access to the ESPN mobile Web site will be able to set rosters, trade and waive players, and check scoring – all from their mobile devices.
- Mobile Scores and Alerts – Users can access their matchup, league scoreboard, and latest news on their mobile devices. ESPN Insiders can opt to receive personalized team alerts with breaking news, scoring, injury and substitution updates.
- Mobile TV – Fantasy football-related video content from ESPN studio shows.
ESPN will once again bring fans fantasy football insights, information and analysis on its television and radio networks, including:
- SportsCenter Fantasy Draft Special: On August 16 at 7 p.m. ET, ESPN will televise its sixth annual “SportsCenter Fantasy Draft Special.” The preview special highlighted by analysis and debate from a number of ESPN analysts and experts, including Matthew Berry and Tim Hasselbeck.
- Fantasy Football Now: The Emmy Award-winning live Sunday morning program, incubated on ESPN.com and now available on ESPN2, will expand to two hours this year and will air every Sunday during the season at 11 a.m. beginning September 9. The show returns beginning with four 30-minute preview shows beginning August 5. ESPN’s Robert Flores hosts with Berry as lead analyst, football expert Tim Hasselbeck breaking down fantasy, Sara Walsh and a collection of additional contributors each week.
- NFL Live, SportsCenter, Numbers Never Lie, Mike & Mike: ESPN’s signature news, information and analysis programs will feature fantasy football content integration, with additional in-depth attention to fantasy football in late August.
ESPN Radio will once again bring fans original podcasts dedicated to fantasy football:
- ESPN Radio: Throughout the season, ESPN Radio will devote attention to fantasy football in popular programs like Mike & Mike in the Morning (simulcast on ESPN2).
- ESPN Fantasy Draft Special presented by Geico – 6 Pre-Season – approx. 30 minutes. Christopher Harris and other special guests will discuss position rankings and strategy leading up to the season.
- ESPN Fantasy Focus Football – Daily – approx. 45 minutes (5 days per week in-season only). Hosted by Berry and Nate Ravitz, and featuring a host of guests and interviews, the podcast will provide player previews, game overviews and strategies. Last year, Fantasy Focus was named in the PodcastAwards.com awards for “Best Sports Podcast” for the second time in the past three years.
· ESPN Football Today – Daily – approx. 30 minutes. All things football with in-depth pre- and post-game analysis, players, coaches and more with hosts Ross Tucker and Matt Williamson.