The Next Generation of Fantasy Sports: The Open Fantasy Platform at CBSSports.com CBSSports.com's award-winning fantasy sports service opens to third party developers

Six companies, including MLB.com & Bloomberg Sports, sign on to develop apps for launch of the first open platform in fantasy sports

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., JAN. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CBSSports.com today announced its award-winning fantasy sports service is opening its doors to third party developers and companies to create apps for their products and services. CBSSports.com's innovative open Fantasy Platform will represent the first of its kind in the fantasy sports industry.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120117/NY36576 )

Six companies, including MLB.com and Bloomberg Sports, have signed on as initial Fantasy Platform partners and will have free and/or premium apps available when CBSSports.com's Fantasy Baseball product, featuring the new "CBSSports.com App Central," launches on Jan. 31.

The CBSSports.com Fantasy Platform Development Center is now live for developers and companies to visit and see how their products and services can be shared with millions of highly engaged fantasy sports players. The Fantasy Platform offers developers a comprehensive set of APIs providing access to nearly all the data within CBSSports.com Fantasy Games and everything needed in order to build a customized fantasy app. The Fantasy Platform Development Center is located at: developer.cbssports.com

The Fantasy Platform announcement was made by Jason Kint, Senior Vice President and General Manager of CBSSports.com, at the 2012 Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) Winter Business Conference in Las Vegas.

"The way people play fantasy sports has dramatically changed over the last ten years with players using a ton more tools and products produced by a growing number of businesses," said Kint. "Providing outside developers access to our proprietary service will benefit the entire fantasy industry ecosystem, creating additional value for companies, developers and advertisers while consolidating and enhancing the experience for fantasy players."

With the Fantasy Platform, the millions of dedicated fantasy sports players at CBSSports.com can integrate products and services from across the industry directly into their fantasy game experience. By using these free and premium apps to access the Fantasy Platform, players will not only have all their tools and resources in one central location, they'll have these products and services built directly into CBSSports.com's fantasy sports games--leading to more efficient decision making and enhanced enjoyment.

Details about the initial Fantasy Platform launch partners and the apps they plan to offer are as follows:

Advanced Sports Media: Producer of the award-winning Draft Analyzer software, Advanced Sports Media (ASM) is focused on developing innovative software applications that help customers compete more effectively in their Fantasy Sports leagues. For the Fantasy Platform, ASM will be producing two applications: The Draft Analyzer App provides users with personalized and completely customizable draft pick advice while the Auction Analyzer App provides users with personalized bidding advice for auction leagues and is again, completely customizable with all league settings.

Bloomberg Sports: Established in 2010, Bloomberg Sports has quickly become a worldwide leader in the development of state of the art data analytic tools for both professional sports organizations and fantasy sports enthusiasts.  For the Fantasy Platform, Bloomberg Sports will be developing apps around their consumer products, "Front Office" (baseball) and "Decision Maker" (football), designed for fans interested in improving their fantasy play or for following their favorite players more closely throughout the course of the season.

MLB.com: MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, powers MLB.TV, the Internet's most prolific live video subscription product. For the Fantasy Platform, MLB.com will be building an app that allows MLB.TV subscribers to watch their fantasy baseball teams live through a customizable experience whereby users automatically will see the live game with the most relevant action to their fantasy teams. Launching in time for the 2012 season, the app will also allow a fantasy user that chooses to watch any live MLB game to be presented with statistical data as to how on-the-field play will impact the user's fantasy baseball team as it happens.

RotoWire: RotoWire.com is a leading content and technology provider to fantasy sports consumers and major media companies. For the Fantasy Platform, RotoWire will develop a content application around its real-time player news and in-depth player profiles to help fantasy players make the most timely and informed roster decisions possible.

StatSheet: A subsidiary of Automated Insights, Inc., StatSheet automatically transforms sports statistics into compelling narrative content, visual displays and interactive applications. For the Fantasy Platform, StatSheet will be developing "StatSmack," the ultimate fantasy trash talking application which leverages StatSheet's next-generation technology to arm managers with fully personalized, statistical data and trash talk that will empirically show why their team is better and why they are the better manager.

Ziguana: Ziguana brings powerful algorithms to the average fantasy manager through a simple user-friendly interface. For the Fantasy Platform, Ziguana will be releasing the "Forecaster" app which calculates a team's probability of winning weekly matchups and makes day-to-day recommendations customized to specific league settings. For those tired of the tedium of setting their lineup, Ziguana's "Lineup Auto-Pilot" app automatically optimizes and sets a team's lineup each day. Ziguana will also be offering a 2012 MLB Projections app.

"CBSSports.com's Fantasy Platform will allow us to build customizable, live experiences as we continue to develop fun ways for our fans to play fantasy baseball and follow the on-the-field action," said Kenny Gersh, SVP, Business Development, MLB.com. "These new integrations into MLB.TV will deliver an original and exciting approach for our subscribers to watch their fantasy baseball teams live throughout 2012."

"We are very pleased to be able to partner with CBSSports.com on this new platform, and bring what we know is the best tool for the casual or die-hard fantasy sports player, 'Bloomberg Front Office,' to a much wider audience," said Bill Squadron, head of Bloomberg Sports.

SportsLine.com, now CBSSports.com, was one of the earliest companies in the fantasy industry, offering innovative fantasy products and services beginning in 1996. Using the Commissioner.com fantasy platform (acquired in 1999), CBSSports.com's fantasy sports products and games have been some of the most popular in the industry and have won eight of the past ten FSTA awards for best Fantasy Commissioner Product. In 2011, CBSSports.com offered fantasy sports products for pro football, baseball, basketball, college football, hockey, and golf.

With a majority of its fantasy users playing paid fantasy sports, CBSSports.com has one of the most engaged and loyal fantasy sports audiences in the business. Fantasy Football players on CBSSports.com register the highest level of engagement of any major site, with players spending an average of 1 hour, 41 minutes per session and returning 4 times each week to research and optimize their rosters. (Nielsen NetRatings, September 2010)

Additionally, CBSSports.com reaches the most affluent and educated Fantasy Football audience among all major competitors: six in 10 have a household income of $75K+ and two-thirds are college-educated. (Nielsen NetRatings, September 2010)

Statistics from the millions of loyal CBSSports.com fantasy sports players:

  • Pay to play on CBSSports.com: 60%
  • Play fantasy football: 87%
  • Average age: 34
  • Average income: $82,600
  • Played six or more seasons with CBSSports.com: 83%

According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA), there are currently 29.6 million fantasy sports players in the United States. Here's the FSTA breakdown by sport:

  • Football (72%) = 21,213,333
  • Baseball (37%) = 11,050,666
  • Auto Racing (24%) = 7,202,666
  • Basketball (20%) = 5,821,333
  • Golf (13%) = 3,749,333
  • College football (13%) = 3,848,000
  • Hockey (12%) = 3,552,000
  • Soccer (7%) = 2,072,000

To view a promotional video for the CBSSports.com Fantasy Platform, click here: Fantasy Evolved: The CBSSports.com Open Fantasy Platform

About CBSSports.com Fantasy Sports

CBSSports.com is a division of CBS Interactive, the premier online content network for information and entertainment.  At the forefront of the fantasy sports business, CBSSports.com offers services and expert advice in fantasy sports ranging from professional and collegiate football to baseball, basketball, hockey, and golf. With a Fantasy product for virtually every sports fan, the CBSSports.com Commissioner Fantasy Sports League Management product has won eight of the past ten Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) awards for best Fantasy Commissioner Product. CBSSports.com has a tradition of innovation in the fantasy sports industry as evidenced by its robust patent portfolio. For more information about the CBSSports.com Fantasy Sports, visit cbssports.com/fantasy.

Follow CBS Sports on Twitter: twitter.com/cbssports and on Facebook: facebook.com/cbssports

More information about CBS and its businesses is available at cbscorporation.com.

SOURCE CBSSports.com



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