Fantasy Football Guru Matthew Berry Leaving ESPN After 15 Years with Network

by Bryan Fyalkowski

Fantasy football analyst Matthew Berry is leaving ESPN after 15 years with the network, he announced on Twitter today. He says he has not yet settled on his future.

Berry began his tweet: “Here is a sentence I never thought I’d write” and concluded it with: “I am forever indebted to ESPN.”

Berry’s appearances on ESPN throughout the week gave managers tips on who to start and bench, as well as who to pick up and drop. Additionally, his Sunday morning appearances on NFL Countdown gave last-minute injury updates before the 12 noon CT kickoffs.

In his goodbye tweet, he joked: “May your Flex plays always hit, your trades never get vetoed, and your Monday Night Miracles all come through.”

ESPN PR released a statement piggybacking off of Berry’s announcement. They said that he “expressed a desire to explore new opportunities beyond ESPN” and the network “agreed to support it.”

If Berry is truly a free agent in the sports media landscape, he will be a very valuable one. Fantasy football has boomed over the past couple of decades, and there is no doubt that he is a big reason why. Any network that hires him will gain 1.1 million Twitter followers and immediate credibility.

Matthew Berry Works His Way Into a Fantasy Football Icon

Matthew Berry started at ESPN in the mid-2000’s and earned some airtime on Cold Pizza. He then parlayed that into segments on other shows and a column in ESPN The Magazine.

Famously, Berry made appearances on the FX show The League, where he hilariously interacted with the characters on the show. In addition, he made a cameo in Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.

Fantasy sports are valued as a $22 billion industry and that figure is expected to continue growing exponentially. According to a 2019 survey, 78% of fantasy sports “managers” play fantasy football. The next-highest sport in that survey is fantasy baseball at 39%.