SAN FRANCISCO — At a press event today, Yahoo announced the launch of its daily fantasy sports league. No longer will you have to deal with weeks-long contests. Instead expect short daily battles for bragging rights … and cash prizes. This is certainly an evolutionary fit for Yahoo as Kenneth Fuchs, Yahoo’s vice president of products, revealed that Yahoo Sports has incredible reach, with 98 million sports fans spending 30 billion minutes a year playing season-long fantasy sports on its site.
With 57 million fantasy sports players this year, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, Yahoo wants to solidify its dominance in the arena with this update of the fantasy sports league — this time with cash rewards. But here’s the twist — you won’t have to wait until the end of the season to redeem your reward. Instead, you can win cash daily.
Called Yahoo Sports Daily Fantasy, the new league allows sports fans to participate by simply using the Yahoo Fantasy app on iPhone or on any device through the browser. There’s untapped potential here, according to Fuchs, as player spending on daily fantasy has grown 51x over 3 years, from $5 million to $257 million. Fuchs says that this service is built on Yahoo Sports’ principles, as it is mobile-first and social, and offers a unified look.
Contests run daily and fantasy sports fans won’t have to deal with draft issues. There are a variety of contests, such as 50/50 or a guaranteed contest (which determine how much someone makes if they win). All funds will be managed through Yahoo’s system, which the company assures us will be secure — payments are handled internally and all winnings are paid out using PayPal within 48 hours. There are free entry contests as well as those that require a registration fee.
Anyone can create their own contest and while this only covers Major League Baseball for now, new sports will be rolled out as the seasons become available in 45 states (sorry Iowa, Arizona, Louisiana, Montana, and Washington, but you can’t participate in Daily Fantasy). There is a maximum deposit of $600 per day for players.
There are also season-long cash leagues for players to participate in, and it’s not the first time Yahoo has given out money to winners. Yahoo will take 10 percent of contest fees — that exact amount will depend on the size of the contest and number of players. The company is currently not launching with advertisements.
Yahoo Sports Daily Fantasy comes at a time when daily contests have been essentially dominated by DraftKings, a service that received $250 million in funding from Disney in April (or did it?) and has gotten its hooks into ESPN as its official daily fantasy sports provider. And let’s not forget FanDuel.
You can try Yahoo Sports Daily Fantasy now.