Internet giant Yahoo has made good on its plans to launch a new daily fantasy sports (DFS) service.
Yahoo announced this April that it wanted to further monetize its mammoth season-long fantasy sports audience by diversifying into the DFS space. On Wednesday, Yahoo unveiled its Yahoo Sports Daily Fantasy service, which offers daily and weekly contests.
Yahoo’s service is currently limited to Major League Baseball games but will add National Football League games this fall, along with National Basketball Association and National Hockey League games as those leagues get underway. Yahoo says it hopes to become the “preferred home for DFS across the four major sports,” strongly suggesting that it has no immediate plans to branch out into golf or NASCAR contests like some of its competitors.
Speaking at a press conference announcing the launch, Yahoo VP of publisher products Kenneth Fuchs said he doesn’t anticipate any legal issues since DFS “is a game of skills.” Meanwhile, Yahoo suggests DFS neophytes check Vegas betting lines to see “if bookmakers expect a big pile of runs to be scored in a game” before selecting your team line-up.
Players who are absolutely, positively, most definitely not gambling when they wager on, er, play DFS can deposit up to $600 per day into their Yahoo account via PayPal. Geolocation technology will be used to ensure players in the five legally verboten states for DFS – Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana and Washington – don’t put Yahoo in any legal hot water.
Yahoo Sports has an audience of around 98m monthly users and DFS industry watchers are keen to see how many of Yahoo’s “tens of millions” of season-long fantasy players will convert to the DFS offering. Observers will also be watching to see how well Yahoo’s offering can compete with DFS frontrunners FanDuel and DraftKings.