Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Major League Baseball trying to ruin the NHL

You said what now?

The CBC sued MLB and won, but MLB is appealing this ruling and if they win you can say goodbye to Fantasy Hockey.

First off, CBC is not the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (not in this lawsuit anyway) and the implications of this lawsuit will directly affect the very existence of all Fantasy Sports Leagues, not just hockey.

CBC Distribution and Marketing Inc. last year won a lawsuit that they had filed against MLB when their license to run a Fantasy Baseball game was rescinded by the Major Leagues. CBC decided to take one for the team and sue MLB to prove that they (CBC) did not have to pay a licensing fee to MLB for the rights to use player names and statistics. Last year they won their lawsuit.

MLB is, of course, appealing this ruling. The NBA, NFL and NHL all participated in the original lawsuit and any ruling in this case will essentially hold true for these leagues as well. A U.S. Federal Appeal panel is currently ruling on MLB's application and it's implications are huge.

If Baseball is successful in appealing this ruling it would essentially give MLB (and the three other major sports) the ability to monopolize Fantasy Sports. Over the last few years MLB has reduced the number of licenses it has granted to Fantasy Sports game providers from over 50 to less than 8. If they so desired, MLB could refuse to grant any licenses whatsoever and keep full control of all the traffic and revenues derived from Fantasy Baseball to itself.

The most recent estimates place the total revenue from Fantasy Sports at over $1.5 Billion with as many as 8 million participants on a yearly basis. That's a pretty big piece of pie.

So again, what does this have to do with Fantasy Hockey?

Two things.

1) If MLB is able to control Fantasy Baseball do you think that the NHL will be far behind in taking complete control of Fantasy Hockey? Bye bye Yahoo, the NHL won't grant you the rights to use their statistics.
2) Speaking of statistics, you can forget looking in the newspaper (or the internets) for daily box scores. Unless someone is paying a fat licensing fee anyway.

Hmmm... speaking of which, if anyone happens to own any Yahoo stock I would suggest you keep an eye on this appeal. Yahoo has estimated that approximately 40% of it's total site traffic is a direct result (or derived from) it's Fantasy Sports products. If MLB decides to take away their Fantasy Baseball traffic Yahoo will take a serious dive.


Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous. MLB's suit has nothing to do with stats. That is the perception CBC is trying to create in hopes that ignorant media outlets like yourself will run stories like this. MLB and the other sports leagues are protecting the use of the use of players in a game not that different than a video game or board game. This has nothing to do with stats. Yahoo and every other media outlet will be unaffected by this case. MLB has never made claim to stats.

Anonymous said...

You really should have done some research before posting such an idiotic commentary. Your remarks are completely incorrect. MLB has never made claim to stats. CBC has stated this as a way to get ignorant media outlets such as yourself to create an uproar. In reality, MLB and the other sports leagues are protecting its ability to license a game utilizing players. In this case stats are involved but it's a game not unlike video games that utilize players' rights for which they have an obligation to protect.

bLiNdLuCk said...

Strong words from an anonymous poster.

I have done my research. I was present for a recap of the issues and implications of this lawsuit presented by the lawyer for the CBC.

MLB is definitely going after statistics, they are trying to lump them into the same category as images of their players.

CBC was denied a license to use both the statistics and images relating to major league baseball and that is what they based this lawsuit on.

Perhaps you should do your own research.

Mattstro Disastro said...

What's next, I wonder? Will there be a guy taking five bucks from you at the watercooler to talk about the race for the batting title or the Rocket Richard trophy?