Sporting News Launches Custom Fantasy Source

When announced back in March that it was doing away with hosting fantasy games, the plan was to refocus the site to really center on content. In the middle of that focus is the new Fantasy Source platform.

Fantasy Source has long been the subscription area for fantasy sports content (primarily football and baseball) at, but the recent relaunch involved changing the interface to greatly enhance customization.

Upon arrival, a registered subscriber ($40 for the year) now faces a page that looks like a clipboard of widgets, which it basically is. You control which content buckets appear on the page — choosing among items such as player rankings, player news (centered on your selected players) and stat projections — and dragging each box to your preferred spot.

Much of the content is also customizable, from controlling which players you track to inputting your own scoring settings to cater rankings and projections to your league. (An example of the extent of the scoring flexibility: You can choose among 49 categories for kicker scoring alone.)

“The emphasis on customization and personalization of information is what makes this product unique,” Geoff Shaw, Sporting News’ VP of digital media, said in the press release. “With personally relevant and tailored tools, analysis and stats, we deliver our users a valuable and engaging experience and deliver our advertisers a valuable and highly-engaged audience.”

The platform also allows for importing rosters from leagues hosted elsewhere, which will automatically tailor features to fit that player group. The site currently only supports imports from Yahoo!, though. Although Yahoo! hosts more leagues than anyone else, that will need to be expanded to better serve subscribers.

Shaw told that SN is negotiating with other major operators to increase that lineup and that his team has pre-loaded the default scoring settings from top hosts such as Yahoo! and CBS Sports to make it easier for users to customize stats and rankings.

“By tweaking league settings, all stats related tools reorganize to fit the scoring system, meaning point-per-reception leagues will have a different top-200 than a standard yardage-only league,” Shaw said.

For the new focus to work overall, it was likely necessary for Sporting News to build out its Fantasy Source site and deliver something different. The fantasy content landscape has become densely populated, with outlets all over the place touting free fantasy football advice and analysis (and the same goes for other sports). In addition, the big league-hosting sites all have their own methods of delivering player news and other fantasy content.

Sporting News has long been a valued source for general sports content as well as fantasy-specific material and has made interesting moves in other areas in recent years — such as cutting its magazine back to bi-weekly issues and launching Sporting News Today, the daily “e-paper” that has since gone pay — to navigate a changing media landscape. It’ll be interesting, again, to see how consumers respond to the new Fantasy Source.


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