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End of Free Fantasy Sports?


Redlands, CA

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Anyone catch the recent episode of outside the lines on espn. Well, a huge court case is forth coming. Changes as well could be changing the way we do fantasy sports.

MLB is trying to get companies to pay more money than they do already. In the end, we could be paying somewhere near $150 to participate.

From basements to board rooms and beyond, 15 million Americans are spending an excess of 150 million dollars a year on fantasy sports. It's an industry that has grown exponentially and now nearly 200 plus internet sites are providing services that utilize actual sports statistics and scores to create fictional leagues and teams for recreational use. But access to these statistics by the fantasy service providers is now in question. Major League Baseball says it has the proprietary rights to the statistics created by it's games and that fantasy sports companies must purchase those rights in order to use them. That battle is now in court. Tonight on OUTSIDE THE LINES we examine "Who owns stats?". Do professional sports leagues own the exclusive rights to their statistics, or should that information be considered public domain, free to be used by other companies for their own profit. Bob Ley hosts.

Guests include:

Alan Schwarz, Baseball America and New York Times Baseball Writer

Ryan Houston, CEO-Fantasy Football.com, 15 years covering Fantasy Sports

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I think MLB will loose this suit. The make the stats public and free of charge. You can look in any newspaper or on any baseball website including mlb.com and get the stats for free. All these companies are doing is organizing the stats.

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I think MLB will loose this suit. The make the stats public and free of charge. You can look in any newspaper or on any baseball website including mlb.com and get the stats for free. All these companies are doing is organizing the stats.

True, but they are using player's names and in some instances logos.

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Yes, we don't own the player or his stats. The stats can be seen in the paper but it is also connected to the player themselves. The one guy made a good point on the show, I think he runs NFLPA, he said you can open up a phone book and get a name from there but you don't own that person. Something to that extent.

I think MLB is going to win. This will cripple the little companies that don't pay a licensing fee to use the logos, names, and stats. Yahoo pays 25 per user. That could go up by a lot. MLB is going to win, IMO, football leagues could be done by hand but baseball leagues we might have to pay for in the end and might be a really high fee.

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Bottom line? Don't use a fantasy sports "service" to get your stats. Just turn to the sports section of your local newspaper, find the box-scores and calculate your league's stats the old fashioned way. It will mean a return to more work for some leagues' statisticians, but it can be done.

It's also an excuse to pay more attention to your league

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Bottom line? Don't use a fantasy sports "service" to get your stats. Just turn to the sports section of your local newspaper, find the box-scores and calculate your league's stats the old fashioned way. It will mean a return to more work for some leagues' statisticians, but it can be done.

You can go to various sports news or league websites. For stats. It may take some time depending an how your fantasy league works

Luckily the AFL posts stats, I use the AFL website to gather stats for the WAFA scores.

Example

I copy and paste stats from each game onto a pre-configured spreadsheet. Of course those calcualtions are very simplified,,,,

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Speaking of fantasy sports. I started up a fantasy football league and would like to see if anyone would care to join. either e-mail me at the forum here or at hall_judd@yahoo.com. I'll send the invites ASAP. Looking to have a 32 team league.

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Bottom line? Don't use a fantasy sports "service" to get your stats. Just turn to the sports section of your local newspaper, find the box-scores and calculate your league's stats the old fashioned way. It will mean a return to more work for some leagues' statisticians, but it can be done.

That's what my league will be doing for football. No problem really.

If someone wants to do it for baseball, fine, but it's not going to be me. So our league may be in its final year.

So be it.

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MLB is greedy and if they force out fnatasy sports tehy will be shoc ked at how much it loses them fan support, because it is one tool at drawing fans to watch their games.

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I used to play fantasy baseball on Sandbox.com because it was a free site, and they awarded points well for every stat. Now you have to pay for one year's membership to play, so I stopped using the site, and shifted over to Yahoo! I play the free fantasy baseball pool only. I mean the extra features are nice, like division play, but I shouldn't have to pay for it, so why bother?

Most web sites turn to pay-as-you-play web sites in order to stay in business, which is the case for Sandbox. I really don't think it has anything to do with MLB financially speaking, just the sites itself that provide fantasy sports and keep track of players' stats.

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Fact of the matter is unless the league is willing to stop publishing their own stats they really cannot say boo about fantasy sports... infact you would think they would embrace fantasy sports as it raises more interest in the games i could care less about how the yankees are doing infact i down right hate them but when randy johnson is pitching for the saskatchewan prairie fire that night I need to know how he's doing...

being the stats guy for the TNFF last year we relied on the leagues website to do our own scores and unlike the NFL where stats are done during the game and you can follow along via their game tracker (which i love when im at work, i like that mlb does it too)... there were some weeks where the CFL didnt update their stats for an entire week... it was a giant pain in the ass but once you get your spread sheets or databases made it just a matter of plugging in the numbers...

MLB is being a bunch of greedy pricks when it comes down to it... who owns the stats... you would think they would belong to the fans who track each and every hit, pitch, error, and catch... but hey what do i know

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