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Fantasy Baseball License

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From this morning's Enquirer:

At the end of last week, the fantasy industry was in a tizzy over last month's deal between the MLB Players Association and MLB Advanced Media, which owns MLB.com.

When the five-year deal, which is worth more than $50 million, was announced Jan. 19, it provided MLBAM exclusive rights to use and sublicense MLB player group rights for online games, including fantasy.

But on Friday, MLBAM e-mailed companies that run fantasy baseball online games, telling them they would not be granted a license to operate those games.

Suddenly, ESPN, Yahoo, CBS Sportsline, CDM Sports and others were on the outside looking in. MLB.com, of course, was on the inside.

It's not the first showdown between pro sports and those wanting to play with their statistics. In 1997, a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the NBA in a lawsuit against Motorola, which wanted to use in-progress basketball data on its pagers.

The number of people who play fantasy sports has mushroomed since then, so the stakes are much greater now. And industry people say that number could drop if game companies can't retain their licenses.

Stay tuned.

That's the first I've heard of that.  I'll be pretty disappointed if the only place to go for fantasy baseball is MLB.com, and I imagine I'm not the only person that feels that way.