US technology giant Yahoo has announced its entry into the daily fantasy sports market in a move that is set to present a new challenge to the growth of the DraftKings and FanDuel companies.
DraftKings and FanDuel have seen their profiles increase in the North American market in recent months through a host of partnerships with major leagues and sports teams. However, with the launch of Yahoo Sports Daily Fantasy, Yahoo said it becomes the first major sports site and the only technology company of its scale to offer its own fantasy gaming experience through one-day and one-week contests for cash prizes.
Simon Khalaf, senior vice-president of product and engineering at Yahoo, said: “For more than 16 years, we’ve built the best fantasy experience for our fans. Our users spend nearly 30 billion minutes a year playing fantasy sports on Yahoo, and today we’re thrilled to introduce a daily fantasy experience designed for the modern fan.
“The growing popularity of daily fantasy games is a fantastic opportunity for us to bolster our leadership by providing our millions of existing fantasy users, as well as new fans out there, with a unique take on this game genre.”
Yahoo has designed its product for the mobile fantasy player and said it will be the only company to offer daily fantasy, full season fantasy, and real-time sports news and scores as an all-in-one experience. The firm said the audience of fantasy sports players grew 40 per cent in the last year alone, hitting more than 56 million across the US and Canada.
For now, Yahoo Sports Daily Fantasy is set to be limited to the US market, starting with Major League Baseball (MLB) and expanding to other professional sports as their seasons begin. Yahoo has been increasing its presence in the sports sector and last month created headlines by being selected by American football’s National Football League (NFL) to deliver the first ever live stream of a regular-season game from the league for free to viewers worldwide.
Yahoo will provide live coverage of the NFL International Series game in London, UK between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, October 25.