Posts Tagged ‘fanball’

CDM Sports Returns Via RG Ventures Deal with Liberty

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Part of the surprise over the “Fanball closing” announcement was that it appeared the doors were simply being shut without inventory moving on. This week, however, brought us the second acquisition of former Fanball holdings since that news.

As posted now at and and e-mailed to Fanball users:

RG Ventures, LLC announced today that it has completed its purchase of various assets from Liberty Sports Interactive, Inc. (”Fanball”) which includes all of the rights to a suite of Fantasy Challenge and Draft and Play games. John Brison and Charlie Wiegert, two of the original founders of CDM Fantasy Sports, and a group of former employees and industry veterans will operate the games for RG Ventures under the trade name “CDM Sports” beginning immediately.

The Company’s suite of games will include the legendary fantasy baseball Diamond Challenge, Football Challenge, Draft and Play Baseball, Draft and Play Football, and Fantasy Cup. The Company will begin taking registrations for its fantasy baseball games within a few days. The Company’s portfolio of challenge games will be extensive in the future and will likely include fantasy auto racing, and golf games.

The CDM name, of course, is familiar to anyone in the fantasy sports industry and many veteran players as it has been around from the early days. CDM was acquired by Fanball in 2008 and its games incorporated into the Fanball line.

This acquisition, of course, follows the recent move by STATS to buy a controlling share of Greg Ambrosius’ National Fantasy Championships. We’ll pass along any further info that comes our way.


NFC Deal Just a Part of STATS’ Fantasy Plan

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

We overlooked in mid-February the announcement of Greg Ambrosius’ deals taking control of the National Fantasy Championships from Liberty and partnering up with STATS. It seemed mostly formality for a deal that Ambrosius had already announced at the end of January.

Thanks to a post by Scott Atkins on the Fantasy Players Association website and a Sports Business Journal story from Feb. 21, though, there are some more interesting tidbits worth passing along. Chief among the info is STATS’ apparent plan to make this a mere first step in getting back to consumer fantasy gaming.

STATS executive vice president Steve Byrd told SBJ: “This is a very fertile market and obviously one where we have history, are comfortable with and know well. We don’t have any intention to get into the free, ad-supported space. That’s obviously very well staked out by ESPN, Yahoo! and others, many of which are our clients. But the pay side continues to show strong growth, and we think there’s a way for us to achieve scale there.”

As the report pointed out, STATS played a significant role in consumer fantasy games in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It also provided the back-end support for the NFFC and NFBC before Fanball acquired the events in 2009.

With its majority stake in the NFC, STATS has added Ambrosius to its staff as general manager of consumer fantasy games. Tom Kessenich also joins the company’s ranks as manager of high-stakes fantasy games. The NFC sites have also been switched over.

No specifics have yet been announced about further fantasy plans, but Byrd did tell SBJ that “there’s potentially interest in other assets” remaining at Liberty from the pending Fanball closure.


It’s Official: Fanball to Close

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

This message was posted at the top of the homepage at late Tuesday afternoon:

The management of has determined to cease operations, effective as of June 30, 2011. Commissioner, Draft & Play, and Challenge games already in progress for NBA, NHL and NFL will continue to their conclusion. Prize payouts for the NBA, NHL and NFL games already in progress will be honored according to Fanball game rules. will not initiate new games for the NBA playoffs, the NHL playoffs or any other sports, and will promptly send a refund to customers of entry fees for 2011 PGA Tour Trade 1 and PGA Tour Trade 2.

Please visit the My Account page on in order to ensure that has your current address for sending any disbursements.

We have to assume that “management of” refers to Liberty Media, based on the way this story has developed. This, of course, is merely confirmation of what we reported late last week and offers no details about specific pieces of the operations beyond what is mentioned in the official note.

The biggest and most interesting question in the wake of this announcement is what becomes of the National Fantasy Baseball Championship, whose site carries no message as of this writing about the changes at Fanball and which has been taking entries up to this point.

The NFBC and it’s football relative remained under the guidance of founder Greg Ambrosius and Tom Kessenich through Fanball’s acquisition of the contests, so we’ll see how the events come through. In a message-board thread in which he shared the official Fanball announcement with the NFBC community, Ambrosius also offered the following:

While there is never good news in a historic company being shut down, please realize that some things are still unannounced and undecided. Hopefully there’s a reason for that. I don’t know what will happen or if anything will happen with these assets, but they’re not mentioned here in this first statement and that isn’t all bad.

Tom, myself and most of the Fanball employees are still employed today by Liberty Media, the message boards are still active, all of our players will be paid in full, employees now at least know the terms of their time at Fanball, and life moves on. It’s tragic to see such an important company leave this space, but it happens and folks move on.

Again, the boards are still alive. Use them for encouragement and positive thoughts, not to bash anyone or any entity. Let’s stay hopeful that all things will work out for this great industry, for these great games, for these great customers and hopefully this great community of like-minded baseball and football fanatics will remain intact. That’s my prayer tonight.

As this situation moves forward, we should begin to get a clearer picture of how this and other lingering questions get answered, and will provide updates as they become available.


FSB Daily 1/10: TMR, CBS, a Eulogy, Other Foolishness

Monday, January 10th, 2011

A roundup of items recently posted on the FSB News page.

- Matthew Berry was recently profiled by the alumni magazine of his alma mater, Syracuse University.

- I don’t really have any better way to intro this column than with its own first line: “It was certainly the first time I’ve ever heard the words ‘fantasy baseball’ used in a eulogy.”

- Tableau Software carries this interview with data analyst Al Melchior on what the “data visualizations” add to the experience for visitors to the fantasy sports area. (It should be noted that Tableau is the provider of these visualizations.)

- The emergence and evolution of the blogosphere has brought plenty of positive developments, but one key drawback is the blurring of the line between actual reporting and blind speculation. Our report last week on Liberty and Fanball was sourced. This Monday post on that bandies the term “bankruptcy” about smacks of irresponsible speculation by one guy. It’s up to each reader to choose what to believe, but it’s up to the outlet to give you reason to believe it.

- Freelancers, here’s a Britain-based ad looking for low-budget design help on a new “weekly sports pick ‘em” site.

- Fantasy providers, now we have finally arrived. Elaut USA has introduced one of those “look at the obscene number of paper tickets you could win before you actually end up with 5″ games that your pre-teen kids choose over better machines at Chuck E. Cheese. Although it has absolutely nothing to do with fantasy sports, it carries the name “Fantasy Football Tickets.”

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