Thursday, February 10, 2005

Roto Times on the fantasy baseball fiasco 

Roto Times has a great piece, going into more detail on the tactics MLB is engaging in on the Fantasy Baseball Boondoggle.

Here is the crux of the issue, as outlined in this piece:

In what appears to be little more than a public relations ploy, MLB Advanced Media has offered license agreements to several small companies. However, the terms of the offer reveal their true intentions. Several of the so-called "mom-and-pop" companies have been offered some variation of the following deal: If they have fewer than 5,000 customers, they can have a license for $10,000 for the 2005 season. If they have more than 5,000 customers, the price jumps to $500,000. Multiple industry sources confirmed for Rototimes.com that this offer has been distributed. As one industry observer said "customer number 5,001 is awfully expensive." The smaller companies certainly can't afford the $500,000 figure, and it does not appear that the larger companies have received the same offer. Brian Matthews, co-founder of CDM, said that the offer was not presented to CDM. The obvious intent is to fence in smaller competitors by punishing a customer base beyond 5,000, a number that MLB Advanced Media likely deems as inconsequential competition. By doing this, it can try to shut down its larger competitors without looking like it is trying to shut out all competition.

MLB should be embarrassed by this. I had three fantasy teams with Yahoo last year, and paid the extra amount for the live updates, etc. I had planned on participating in a similar number of leagues this year.

But I can tell you, I absolutely refuse to be bullied by MLB and its internet marketing thugs. I refuse to participate in any mlb.com leagues, or spend one dime through mlb.com, unless and until they back off on this issue. This attempt to monopolize fantasy games is a slap in the face to baseball fans, and I encourage everyone to let MLB know what you think of their position.

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