SBD/February 28, 2011/Media

Online Venture Open Sports Ceases Operations After Failing To Find Niche

Open Sports was never able to find sufficient venture capital funding
Open Sports "has ceased operations after failing to find a sustainable niche in the hypercompetitive digital arena," according to Eric Fisher of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The Florida-based operation, "seeking to blend fantasy sports with sports news, commentary, social networking and other material, was founded largely in the hopes of challenging established market leaders such as ESPN.com, CBSSports.com and Yahoo." A "major fantasy games partnership struck with Fox Sports in 2009 sought to further that aim, with the two entities collaborating on a series of fantasy football and NASCAR products." But Open Sports "was never able to find institutional venture capital funding or enough advertising revenue to ensure long-term financial viability." Fox Sports "ceased its partnership with Open Sports soon after the 2010 NFL season, and the company folded soon afterward." Open Sports Founder Mike Levy: "It just didn’t work out. Not every one of these things do work out. It’s my blunder and I take full responsibility for everything. I was never able to get professional, institutional venture funding. They didn’t think there was really room for another major player in fantasy, and that it was too late to really get traction in the space. And in retrospect, I probably should have listened" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/28 issue).
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