January 19, 2005

Your fantasy could be ending (or at least getting more expensive): Major League Baseball has sold the exclusive rights to the league's fantasy games to Major League Baseball Advanced Media, which is ... uh, owned by the league. Experts, however, are not sure about who actually owns the right to use factual and statistical data. The most important factor here, of course, is whether or not Jerseygirl's reign of terror is over.

posted by wfrazerjr to baseball at 03:08 PM - 11 comments

I never realized that fantasy sports were so complicated! Apparently nobody can use Barry Bonds name in their fantasy game? I drafted him in my league last year (we used the Yahoo service), who does he sue; me (waste of time) or Yahoo?

posted by stofer71 at 04:58 PM on January 19, 2005

So, does this mean we all have to use the MLB service?

posted by jbou at 05:34 PM on January 19, 2005

I don't think so. It just means someone else owns the player images and names for licensing purposes. I just hope it doesn't mean the end of free Yahoo leagues (because the fees are probably going to go up).

posted by dusted at 06:28 PM on January 19, 2005

me too. because something like: In 2003, the average player of fantasy baseball games spent $179 to participate compared to the $161 that players spent on fantasy football games and the $118 spent on fantasy basketball games doesn't describe me. Now those costs might include things like scouting magazines and materials beyond game fees. Maybe gambling? I have enjoyed fantasy sports without paying anything yet. I'd be interested in some median and mode data on those expenditures.

posted by gspm at 06:54 PM on January 19, 2005

I've paid a little. I chipped in $20 for the CBS league last year and I spent $8 (or something like that) to get the Yahoo stat tracker on my two fantasy basketball teams. I can't imagine spending $180, though - those numbers sound way off.

posted by dusted at 07:03 PM on January 19, 2005

I wonder if they are counting private leagues. I played for several years in a 16-team league that cost $100 to enter and charged for each transaction. I easily spent $150-200 in each of those years, although I won $1,100 one season. Those leagues buy into stat trackers on bigger scales and they can get pretty expensive.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:17 PM on January 19, 2005

Apparently nobody can use Barry Bonds name in their fantasy game? I don't know who this Bonds fellow is, but I'm trying to move up to draft San Francisco OF next season. That guy hits so many home runs you'd think he was on something.

posted by rcade at 08:45 PM on January 19, 2005

One court case, NBA v. Motorola and STATS Inc., backs up this opinion. In 1997, a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the federal copyright statute prohibits the ownership of factual data. There has been no rulings to the contrary over the past eight years, said Paul Levy, who was co-counsel to STATS Inc. in the case. Except in the case of businesses which wish to do licensing deals because of a bigger business relationship, I don't think this means too much. Then again, I don't play fantasy baseball or any fantasy sports that cost money.

posted by billsaysthis at 08:58 PM on January 19, 2005

One person's "reign of terror" is another's fantasy baseball dynasty. :D

posted by jerseygirl at 07:15 AM on January 20, 2005

I dropped a total of about $20 or so to play in two fantasy baseball leagues last year - the SpoFi CBS league and a Sandbox league with friends from work. That was the first time I'd paid for fantasy sports, and I probably won't do it again.

posted by mbd1 at 07:58 AM on January 20, 2005

I always root for JG!

posted by billsaysthis at 02:16 PM on January 20, 2005

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