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Why doesn't the Cafe create a Fantasy League???

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Postby Drdobs » Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:38 pm

The quantity of open source "users" in relation to their pay for use partners is staggering in favor of the ladder.

Don't get me wrong, I'm in favor of "supporting" the community and all of that. Afterall, here we are in the Cafe which is a glowing example of this.

I'm just saying from a busienss perspective, the goal of this site should be to produce revenue and income while at the same time developing fantasy league sites that are superior to all other offerings.

I'm not interested in half-ass programming or downloadable BS packages I see everywhere. If I have to download some lame free mock draft kit that requires VBRUN100.DLL to load or some third party crappy software, I'm going to puke.

This is NOT the type of site I endorese developing. What I'm talking about is gathering together the best of the best, or at least those who are good who will strive to produce the best, arming them with good management and a half a million dollars to work with and let them go for it.

I'm talking about using good business pricing practices to charge as absolutely as much as you can while mazimizing subscription and advertising dollars. I'm not looking to create the best little "niche" cafe.

:)

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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:53 pm

Honestly Jon, I think you are underestimating the advertising revenue. If what you are talking about is putting the best site out there, then its gotta be free for users. If you do that you get the volume, and with the volume comes the advertising revenue.

The cafe has a good start, but they dont have the brand recognition that the elites have.

CBS or ESPN could take over the fantasy world - simply dominate it - but they feel they need to charge users. Imagine if one of those two decided to give their content and leagues away for free. With the built in brand name, the marketing arm of Disney or Viacom, they could sit back and set advertising prices.

"We have 75% of all fantasy players coming to ESPN, our advertising packages start at x - how much would you like to buy?"

What Im saying is that these major sites who try and charge subscription fees are truly hurting themselves by not seeing the volume opportunities they could have. You can start a new site and charge subscriptions if you want, but how are you going to separate your site from the sandboxes of the world? You know that a better product wont do it, but if you gave it away, they will come.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:57 pm

Let me ask you this. How would the site you envision differ from all the other "here one year, gone the next" pay fantasy sites? There are only a handful that are around from year to year. That's where the open source idea comes from. When the competition is just so great, that your little old product probably has little chance of surviving, do you open source it hoping for recognition and to contribute to the world of software, or do you risk it and throw your neck out there and see how well you fare?

Your comment on Linux is very true, but how would Linux of developed had it not been open source? Not at all. You really need to have "something special" to compete in such an already established market.

On a somewhat related note, my recommended method of going about this project from the programming standpoint uses 100% open source. What I mean is php, mysql, and Apache web server are all open source and multi platform.
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Postby shortsavage » Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:12 pm

I have a ton of ideas for draft-help related software (might start working on some sort of product this summer).

From my meetings with legal advisors to date, I have discovered one big speed bump. The licensing process for this kind of stuff is REALLY expensive. And if you don't get exclusive rights to your product, one of the big shots could easily rip it off, as the Cafe Fantasy Baseball would have to contain some big improvements (besides being free) to really absorb a decent chunk of the market.
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Postby xeifrank » Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:24 pm

Interesting idea, but it is much more than a project. Also, you are competing with people like Yahoo who put out a FREE product that is actually very good.

I think it would be better, and I have thought about doing this, is writing an online version of my mock draft software program. Perhaps both a snake draft version and an auction version. You wouldn't need to pay a stat service, and it's something most of us enjoy doing. There may be a few sites out there that already do this, but they can be improved upon.

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Postby ironman » Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:14 pm

I wonder if Google would ever consider jumping into fantasy sports? :-?
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Postby SaintsOfTheDiamond » Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:29 pm

Like the others have said, there are way too many obstacles to overcome in order to put a free product on the market to compete with established services like Yahoo, Sportsline, etc. I know the Cafe could do it, but I'm fine with just using Yahoo for free leagues and Sportsline if you want a good pay league and stay in the "analysis" part of the game personally. Now if in the future there are no free leagues, I guess it could be an option, but until then it's easier to just stick with the established ones IMO.

ironman wrote:I wonder if Google would ever consider jumping into fantasy sports? :-?


I've wondered this myself. It makes sense that they would, but then again they're concentration right now is on wrestling market share from M$ -- who isn't a player in the fantasy world. Though I guess they could make a pre-emptive strike, I would be very surprised.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:27 pm

Running a full service (ie servers, bandwidth, stats provider, player licensing, etc) a tough task. The software itself to run a league and conduct drafts, not so tough. That's why in earlier posts I always said I didn't think the project was really worth pursuing. The software would be easy to code, but simply would have no use on it's own.

It's kind of tough when you are a programmer like me and you play these fantasy games, knowing you could probably do better. It's not like the existing options are that bad. I really like Yahoo, but there's just so many things they could implement with little trouble that I would like to see. Even a pay service like CBS Sportline Commissioner has shortcomings. You take what you can get.

Long live Yahoo Free Fantasy Sports!
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Postby perlick29 » Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:33 pm

Cleveland Steamers wrote:I like the idea. It would be expensive and time consuming. The marketing would be somewhat hard, but most of the business would come from word of mouth. I would love to earn a living through fantasy baseball, although I dont know how I would go about it.


Hey. Cleveland Steamers, do you play on MLB.com's sim league? If so I am in your league, the ONE HAM SANDWICH TEAM. I am starting a 2 game series with you today. let me know if this is you.
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Postby slomo007 » Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:33 pm

shortsavage wrote:I have a ton of ideas for draft-help related software (might start working on some sort of product this summer).

From my meetings with legal advisors to date, I have discovered one big speed bump. The licensing process for this kind of stuff is REALLY expensive. And if you don't get exclusive rights to your product, one of the big shots could easily rip it off, as the Cafe Fantasy Baseball would have to contain some big improvements (besides being free) to really absorb a decent chunk of the market.


I think you hit the nail on the head here. Wouldn't you have to buy the MLBPA and STATS inc licenses? I highly doubt they're cheap.
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