SBD/Issue 215/Sports Media

Mike Levy Launches Beta Version Of New Web Site

SportsLine Founder Launches
Beta Test For
SportsLine Founder Mike Levy has launched the beta version of, a Web site that aims to take on the established sports destinations, offering a mix of original content, fantasy games and social networking that he says will set it apart from the rest. Backed by $10M raised via private placement, Open Sports Network Inc. flipped the switch quietly with a soft launch yesterday afternoon. "I saw the four big guys out there -- ESPN, Yahoo, Fox and CBS -- and the innovation just hasn't been there," said Levy, who took SportsLine public in '97 and left after the company was acquired by Viacom in '04. Levy: "I looked at it as being a wide-open opportunity." Levy's partner in the venture, Rob Phythian, founded and sold the popular fantasy site Among the investors are former E-Trade CEO Christos Cotsakos and former Office Depot Chair & CEO David Fuente. Both hold seats on the BOD. "There's a lot in our plan," Phythian said. "But the real thrust is that we're building a sports destination that's next-generation, with great local content, next-generation fantasy products and a nice simple user interface for social. That's not out there in one place right now."

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