Tuesday, April 22, 2008
NBC, F+W Publications Reach Deal For High-Stakes Fantasy Site
NBC Sports and F+W Publications have struck a multi-year partnership to co-own and operate the NBC Sports Fantasy Football Championship and NBC Sports Fantasy Baseball Championship, each high-stakes fantasy sports competitions geared for hard-core players. Operated by F+W for the past four years as the National Fantasy Football Championship and National Fantasy Baseball Championships, the events veer sharply from the now-ubiquitous free online fantasy games by staging live drafts, charging $1,300 per player, and awarding $100,000 to its top champions. "We were entering our fifth year operating these events, and we were doing well growing ourselves at about 10% per year," said NFFC Founder and F+W's Fantasy Sports Magazine Editor Greg Ambrosius. "But I felt like we needed additional scale and a way to take this to a higher level. This deal ensures we're going to be around, and events like this are going to be around, for a long time." Live drafts for the fantasy football event are set for August 30 in N.Y., Chicago, Orlando and Las Vegas, and will be streamed on Rotoworld.com, another fantasy operation owned by NBC. NBC Sports & Olympics GM of Fantasy Sports Rick Cordella: "This is a natural evolution of the business. We're still seeing big demand for truly high-end, very competitive fantasy games. We all know one or two guys in our regular fantasy leagues that take it way more serious than the rest of the players. These events are an outlet for those kinds of players."