In an e-mail sent to their e-mail database around 4:30 EST today, the Sporting News announced that they will no longer be offering fantasy games, including 2010 fantasy baseball.
According to the e-mail, this decision comes “due to a shift in our core business strategy,” said Publisher Jeff Price in the e-mail. The removal of fantasy games does NOT include their online version of Strat-O-Matic.
Instead of focusing on continuing to develop fantasy games, the Sporting News is going to focus 100% of its resources on providing fantasy tools and content (potentially, this is good for you if you are someone who consults their fantasy advice). In addition to discontinuing their fantasy games, SportingNews.com’s Fantasy Source is also set to get an overhaul, with the intention of building the “number one destination for fantasy information,” according to Price.
The Sporting News seems intent on providing its fantasy content via the web and mobile applications, plus other technologies as they develop.
The biggest fallout from this announcement comes from those who have been hosting their leagues on SportingNews.com for years. Fantasy baseball players spend an average of almost $500 per year on fantasy sports, according to a study last year by Forbes. As a favor to its customers who were waiting to register their league for the 2010 game, the Sporting News has partnered with CBSSports.com on a special discount offer. That narrows the field of major media fantasy baseball game providers that service premium games to Yahoo! Sports and CBS Sports. ESPN, FOX Sports, and MLB.com provide 100% free fantasy games.
If you received the same e-mail today that I did, there is a link included which allows former Sporting News fantasy players to create a standard Commissioner League on CBS Sports at a 50% discount. The discount drops the rate of the CBS Sports “Baseball Commissioner League” to around $90.
According to the e-mail, the decision to get rid of fantasy games “was not taken lightly.” For anyone who still has fantasy credits at SportingNews.com – they’ll contact you.
Do you play fantasy sports on the Sporting News? If so, what are your plans now that they are getting rid of fantasy games?
Let us know in the comments below!