August 5th, 2009

FSB Daily 8/5: Yahoo!, Sports Data Hub, FanDuel

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

A roundup of recent posts on the FSB News page.

- Yahoo! Sports, whose fantasy football game draws the most participants of any online outlet, has announced that it will provide its StatTracker, live-scoring feature for free this year. In the past, it had been part of the pay commissioner package and offered for purchase to any user.

- Football stat producer is stepping out of its beta phase in preparation for the coming season.

- FanDuel officially launched in late July its short-window, head-to-head fantasy competitions. Customers can select new teams with each new set of games in football or baseball season and directly challenge another person for that day. The games are also available via Twitter and Facebook. Users can also make wagers on their competitions, up to the $25 cap.

Send all of your news, job postings, stories and profile ideas to [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter (FSBcom).


ESPN Twitter Limits Raise Some Questions

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

The Twitterverse was all, well, a-Twitter on Tuesday night about the quick-spreading news that ESPN had banned staffers from sharing sports-related content via non-ESPN routes.

The memo refers to social media in general, but for practical purposes, this move is meant to keep company talent and others from dishing out free info bits on Twitter — a practice that has heightened over the past couple of weeks with the open of NFL training camps.

Many ESPN personalities connect with others via Twitter, and, naturally, talk often turns to news and opinions to which these folks are privy as a result of their occupation and status. Of course, the same is true for many other writers, reporters, TV and radio hosts, etc. from any number of other outlets.

The concern — and an understandable one, really — is that when your talent gives out information for free via a forum that is completely disconnected from your business, consumers will find less value in heading over to your site for similar material. We all know the importance of site traffic, especially for a venue that relies heavily on free content.

That said, the ESPN personalities (and others of similar standing) can use Twitter to build their personal brand, increase their following and share links to material that does appear on the home site. The last of those is still allowed by ESPN, but that’s the mandated extent of sports-related posts per the memo.

The company said that it’s “currently building and testing modules designed to publish Twitter and Facebook entries simultaneously on,, Page 2, ESPN Profile pages and other similar pages across our web site and mobile platforms. The plan is to fully deploy these modules this fall.”

Until and unless people figure out how to monetize content on Twitter, the balance between building personal brands there and costing the company real Web traffic will be one that various enterprises have to figure out.

(One such shot at monetization on Twitter can be seen in the soon-to-launch “Twinjuries” from Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) and Brad Wochomurka through Football Outsiders. The service will deliver Twitter updates on football injuries to subscribers who pony up $5 for the season.)

In the meantime, Twitter users figure to just be annoyed that they’ll no longer get worthwhile updates from folks like NFL guy Adam Schefter (@Adam_Schefter), who joins ESPN officially on Aug. 17 and has hit Twitter so hard that he was recently credentialed as a Twitter reporter, fellow NFL reporter Chris Mortensen (@mortreport), NBA reporter Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) and fantasy’s own Matthew Berry (@TheRealTMR). has set up no such Twitter wall, so you can still follow us there (@FSBcom). I’m on there as well (@mschauf63), at least until my bosses realize the tremendous value of the information I disseminate.

Related: Below is a smattering of Twitter posts from ESPN folks following the public announcement of ESPN’s decision.

Ric Bucher — “The hammer just came down, tweeps: ESPN memo prohibiting tweeting info unless it serves ESPN. Kinda figured this was coming. Not sure what this means but

My guess is I can still tweet about my vacation/car shopping, etc. Which I will do, if I can. But the informal NBA talk is prob in jeopardy.”

Adam Schefter — “Have seen ESPN’s new Twitter guidelines. And I now have no choice. Before I start there Aug. 17, I must check myself into Twitter rehab.”

Bill Simmons — “My take on the great unspoken: Ultimately it’s good if (redacted) incorporates (redacted). Had to start somewhere. I trust @rfking. So there”

Production manager Katie RichmanSo I’m tweeting now and no one has dropped out of the ceiling on a wire to arrest me. Don’t worry, Twitter, we ESPN’ers are still here… ;)”