Well, my keeper league (in our 5th year) moved from Yahoo Plus to ESPN this year, and have so far been happy.
That said, it all just depends on the tastes & experience of the league. For example, if you have a bunch of folks who have never used ESPN, you might not want to uproot the league. If you're doing keepers, use ESPN. Just want a casual redraft for some newbies, use Yahoo free version.
We loved Yahoo, but the cost of the Plus league to run our keepers cleanly was insane next to ESPNs free service. Now, if ESPN charges for that next year or Yahoo does keepers free, we'll hop right back to Yahoo.
ESPN does offer a much more customizable page IMO though. Editing our own message boards, images, polls, etc, all make the league more fun.
So, to me it's:
Note: I've only used CBS & Fox once in the past and hated it, so take that with a grain of salt.
ESPN has a better community feel.. has better options, free live scoring is the biggest seller.
But it was a total bitch to get a league going from a message board, I don't understand why we don't have password leagues in ESPN. Instead I had to send all the invites to myself, get a bit confused and in the end it took at least 5 hours of my time to get everyone in, I didn't want to ask for emails because I was afraid people would lose interest if that would happen.
I agree totally, that ESPN is the best league except for the invites. It is so loaded with features and tweaks that it's hard to believe it's free.
But the combination of e-mail invitations and the fact that once you invite someone it holds a spot for them is a pain. I found enough people who wanted to play and sent them all invites, hoping to get the league filled ASAP. I came to find out that Hotmail was sending their invites to the spam folder. Then there are those people who say "OH MAN YEAH I WANT TO PLAY SIGN ME UP!", then you send them an invite and it takes them a month to get around to it. So then I'm faced with a problem: do I assume they're slacking and give their spot to another owner? Or do I assume that their e-mail just got lost and turn away people who are really interested in playing?
If it let you make a password and send it around, I could have just told anyone and everyone the pass and let the league fill up on a first come first served basis.
Agree with the consensus here... Long-time Yahoo! user, got sick of paying for more and more stuff each year, switched to ESPN this year in 2 out of my 3 leagues... very happy with it so far... Yahoo! has a few small things that ESPN doesn't have and does a couple things a little better but overall I definitely like ESPN a lot better. I've only used CBS once but didn't like it at all...never used Fox.
I've found that I prefer Yahoo's trade setup better than ESPN. Yahoo gives you the option of previewing the trade before you finalize the offer, which I like. It's easy on the eye.
Also, when selecting players you're trading away, it's drop down boxes, whereas you select the players you're trading FOR by using click boxes (or whatever the tech term is for those). I like the click boxes and they should be on both sides IMO.
i personally don't like the free services that ESPN gives you. now it's a lot better than inside information you can get from YAHOO, but at the same time i think its good not to give away free inside projections and such, so the managers actually have to do a little bit of research to succeed. anyone can succeed in ESPN when they basically have experts telling you how a player is going to do.
i dont know if that makes any sense, but in Yahoo it forces you to be a little more active to succeed.
Wow! ESPN even has an 800 number now... I got right through and my question was answered within 2 minutes (unfortunately I didn't get the answer I wanted). Most pay sites don't even have live telephone support. It's crazy that they have this all for free.