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Yahoo! APIs share fantasy with devs

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Yahoo! has offered up APIs for its popular fantasy-sports services.

Today, the company exposed API suites for its Fantasy [American] Football and Fantasy Baseball services, and according to David Geller, director of Yahoo!'s fantasy sports division, APIs for Fantasy Basketball and Fantasy Hockey will follow "in the coming months."

The APIs, Geller tells The Reg, will allow developers to access data detailing individual games, teams, leagues, players, and transactions as well as data related to those netizens using Yahoo!'s services. This includes the number of games a user is currently playing and the number of leagues they're in. "It's a fairly robust suite of APIs for developers to build against," Geller says. "We've allowed internal Yahoo! users to developer against them and we've see creative tools in the mobile space and on the web."

Geller expects to see applications that analyze player lineups and suggest who should be dropped and who should be added, or that provide real-time tracking of player performance.

Yahoo! believes that no other large-scale fantasy-sports outfit has opened up its data for development — though countless applications have been set up to scrape popular sites. In recent years, fantasy sports has grown into a nearly billion-dollar business, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, and Yahoo! believes it's the world's largest provider, with close to 5 million unique users playing its Fantasy Football game alone.

The APIs are for non-commercial use only. "You are not allowed to build an applications and charge users to access it," Geller says. But the company hopes to expand its agreements with data providers to allow developers to upgrade their license to use data for commercial purposes. "The next logical step is for developers to be able to build applications they can charge for."

Currently, applications are forbidden from generating any revenue, which rules out advertising on apps as well. You can learn more here. ®

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