Posts Tagged ‘liberty media’

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.


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.


Sources: Liberty Set to Close Fanball

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

It appears that Liberty Media has decided to shut down Fanball, according to various sources.

Rumors of such a possibility began to surface early Wednesday morning, and by Thursday morning was able to confirm with Fanball employees that Liberty had informed them Wednesday of the impending action and that they were not to speak publicly about the plans.

Of course, no official announcement has yet come from Fanball or Liberty, which might leave open the possibility of a different resolution here. We have heard from multiple sources that there will be a meeting with Liberty decision makers next week, though no specifics have been shared on the expected topics of that meeting.

If it comes to fruition, the closure will be a surprising development for a company that had made several high-profile acquisitions over the past several years, including the NFFC and NFBC.

It’s also a sad development for the industry in which many of us reside. Fanball has been a key player in the fantasy sports industry since before there was enough out there to call it an “industry.” It began back in 1993 as a magazine called Fantasy Football Weekly, created by Paul Charchian and Rob Phythian and quickly grew into a full-service fantasy company with games, content and — as of this year — a couple of spots in the lineup on Sirius XM’s fantasy sports channel.

FUN Technologies acquired the pieces that now combine to make up Fanball in 2005 and 2006, with Liberty Media acquiring FUN and all of its parts in 2007. One of those pieces, which became part of Fanball in 2006, was fellow fantasy veteran company CDM Sports.

“I’m very sad for all the dedicated employees and for the loyal customers who supported the games and services for almost 20 years,” Charlie Wiegert, co-founder of CDM, told Thursday of the apparent pending closure.

Should the news become official, we’ll look more into what might happen to various pieces, particularly the NFBC (and associated events), which is gearing up for the 2011 baseball season.

Should Liberty go through with the closure of Fanball, let’s just hope it stands as the story of one large corporation deciding that it no longer wanted to operate a specific portion of its business. Otherwise, it might serve as an ominous sign for independent fantasy businesses in a landscape increasingly populated by large companies with interests that don’t lie close enough to our games.


FSB Daily 12/14: Liberty Media, More Women Joining Fantasy

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

A roundup of recent posts on the FSB News page.

- Liberty Media’s board of directors Friday approved a spin-off of its entertainment properties, including 52 percent of DirecTV and 100 percent of Fun Technologies Inc. (owner of Fanball and CDM), into a new stock for trading purposes. Liberty feels that its assets are undervalued and breaking them apart will demonstrate the value to the market. The new combined entity will continue to be the obligor for $2 billion in debt accumulated by Liberty Media and associated with these entities.

- The Charlotte Observer has yet another story of women who have embraced the game (fantasy football) that could otherwise alienate them from husbands or boyfriends.