LiveHive looks to drive TV ratings with new fantasy game

By Ken Kerschbaumer

Fantasy football has become a core product offering of nearly every major sports site. With nearly every network offering its own version of the standard fantasy football competition the question facing everyone is simple: What s next?

For those looking to differentiate their product offering a new fantasy game from LiveHive might be the answer. Unlike regular fantasy football games that rely on owners selecting players before the game and then sitting back and waiting for results LiveHive is looking to make the fantasy gaming experience something that is done in conjunction with watching the game (visit www.livehivesystems.com to check out the game).
While regular fantasy games let the fan be the GM this lets the fan be the coach, predicting the next play, says Dave Bullock, LiveHive co-founder and president.

The LiveHive system lets players bet points on what the next play will be and pays out based on the odds that a specific play result will occur. Think a 75-yard TD is in the cards? Place a bet and soak up the big odds. Or play it conservative and predict a four-yard gain. To try out the game visit www.speedofsport.com during NFL telecasts.

Myself and the three other founders of LiveHive were sitting around in a sports bar and we realized that the conversation during a football game revolves around what the next play should be, says Bullock. Will he hit this field goal? When will they get the ball to Terrell Owens?

Bullock says they realized a key piece missing was attaching accurate and realistic odds to a game based around predicting plays. So we built an algorithm that looks at the games situation, the weather, and who is on the field to predict the odds, he says. We collected a lot of the data ourselves and also used licensed stats, mining through five years of NFL data and games.

For TV networks the system could be a fantasy boon to ratings because it encourages fantasy players to be actively engaged in every single play not just the end results.

This directly ties fantasy gaming to the core of their business which is televised sports, says Bullock. It will keep fans glued to the game even when it is a blowout.

The system is a fully white-labeled solution that can be customized to the Web site provider. We have a full turnkey solution and will run the site while the client has a fully customizable branding opportunity for sponsors.

Fees can range from a flat fee to one involving revenue sharing of subscriptions. We think this gives broadcasters a way to build out social networking sites, adds Bullock.

LiveHive is currently working on expanding its offering to other sports, including baseball, golf, hockey and tennis. It s even suitable for reality TV where viewers predict who is going to fall off the log first, says Bullock.

The primary driver is this is a heck of a lot of fun, says Bullock. When you re done playing the game you can feel exhausted because you can predict between 80 and 120 plays per game.

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