As is custom in this space when we do something newish at 2200 W. Cypress, I like to talk about it with you all.
The new site is called CBSSports.com Fantasy News and will cover pro football, college football, pro basketball, college basketball, baseball, hockey, golf & auto racing.
Whereas before our fantasy news was interweaved with our editorial content and available on league pages, now it has its own nifty little site.
(I'd like to hear your thoughts on the site. I have some of my own [some good, some not])
Why did we do this? Here's what my boss, Jason Kint said:
"The content around our fantasy products has always been a huge reason why our fantasy customers have been incredibly loyal to our brand and why our service continues to win numerous awards," said Kint, Senior Vice President and General Manager, CBSSports.com & CBSNews.com. "CBSSports.com Fantasy News now brings this abundance of fantasy news and information out, front and center, for the entire world of fantasy fanatics to read and consume, giving us a leadership position in both the product and information side of the business."
What does that mean? Here's my worker bee take.
A lot of you guys dig our fantasy games. We do it pretty well, as the hardware in my office reminds me so why not create a separate space on the web just for this thing we do pretty well? Why, after all, should we let the Rotoworlds and Fanballs have all the fun in this department? Oh and yeah, we can make a lot of money off this $500 million annual global revenue stream tied to fantasy. Making money's good, right?
That last part is a big element considering this statement from the Wall Street Journal's Matthew Futterman:
"Monday's decision was a relief for major media companies including Yahoo Inc. and CBSsportsline.com, a division of CBS, two of the leading Internet fantasy-sports sites. Had the high court agreed to hear the appeal, those companies could have wound up paying some of the highest licensing fees to the leagues."
(My good sir, we are no longer CBSSportsline.com and even if we were, the l is uppercased)
So not only do we not have to pay MLB a dime, we're now going to make lots more dimes (hopefully) with this new site.
Here's a little background on Monday's ruling courtesy of Futterman:
"Fantasy-sports companies and the professional leagues and players unions had a mostly peaceful relationship through the 1990s. The companies paid licensing fees of 5% to 10% of revenues for the rights to the players' names and statistics. Deals with the largest companies produced nearly $1.5 million a year."
Then three years ago MLB decided that wasn't cool. It fought tooth and nail with CDM Fantasy Sports Corp. over the rights to the information (stats) fantasy operators use. And because MLB lost, all pro leagues will lose that licensing fees fantasy operators like CBSSports.com were paying them.
Which brings us back to the new site. It's still in Beta form, but next week expect a wee bit of promotion across CBSSports.com as it hits the mainstream. In the meantime, I'm just happy the first version managed to find room for Brian Scalabrine's name.
See if you can find it.
On to the best blogs ... around
The man who helped design the new fantasy website posted a blog about designing the new website. We call him, Zeus.
With the Pirates slated second for Thursday's draft Throwing Breaking Balls examines what the club is doing to ensure its pitching prospects make it through the minors with both arms in tact.
There are still Kobe doubters and Kobe haters. Dantheman4250's Sports Blog brushes off both with this take on the evolution of the Lakers and their star.
What do Charles Barkley, Bill Clinton and Rick Reilly have in common? They are all in Say What???'s ideal foursome.
Klick of the Day
If you'd like a recap of the Internet's finest offerings set to the tune of a pop song, Weezer has just the video for you.