If there’s one thing you don’t mess with as a sports media organization, it’s fantasy football. Yahoo ran afoul of that simple rule, and now it’s apologizing to its hordes of fantasy players.
A recent study
found that 22.3 million American workers spend at least an hour at work each week on their fantasy football teams. Calculating the wages paid to American workers, it costs a whopping $6.5 billion each year over a 15-week season.
So you can see why fans were upset when Yahoo’s fantasy football service suffered an outage—just as Sunday NFL games were kicking off. Fans took to Twitter to voice their displeasure, and Mashable called it an “epic fail.”
Ken Fuchs, head of Yahoo Sports, sent a mass email to all players yesterday:
Dear Yahoo! Fantasy Users,
I want to sincerely apologize to all of you about today's Yahoo! Sports Fantasy outage. As the head of Yahoo! Sports and as a Yahoo! Sports fantasy player myself, I am disappointed that we failed all of our fans today. Our first priority is having the best experience for our users, and today we fell short.
The outage started around Noon ET (awful timing we know) and while our team was on it immediately we are still working on various pieces. Our team is continuing to work on identifying and resolving the root cause. We have restored full functionality on the website, and we're working for a final fix for our mobile apps. Currently data and scores can be viewed but for now you cannot make transactions or change line-ups from the apps.
We will also use today as an opportunity to improve our set-up so that we hopefully never have an outage like this again. Our fantasy commissioners and players are our biggest priority - we pride ourselves in being able to offer our users with the best fantasy sports experience possible and we take our job to deliver that to you very seriously. Rest assured we will work hard to make sure we continue to deliver on that commitment.
Thanks for playing with us and your patience today,
Head of Yahoo! Sports
Fantasy sports services are kind of like beer brands. Some guys drink Miller (let’s call that Yahoo), others prefer Budweiser (we’ll call it ESPN), and some guys like those niche fantasy football sites that are clunky and have weird ways of scoring (micro brews). Will this cause any players to switch loyalties next season? We’ll see if enough brain cells are killed drinking beer this season to forget the misery.