Online Sports: Cyber Fans Are Roaring

Big players are involved. But how do you sell tickets?

The obsession that gripped some top executives at Walt Disney Co. in April had nothing to do with the coming sweeps ratings for its ABC network. Instead, Disney Chairman Michael D. Eisner and ESPN top exec Steve M. Bornstein were scouring the Internet for news about Dennis Rodman's rebounds or Michael Jordan's scoring. In their off-hours, the Disney executives were battling in a 10-person company "fantasy basketball" championship--ESPN SportsZone's Web version of the age-old simulated league play. "It's addicting," says Eisner, who finished third, behind a couple of guys who he jokes "aren't going to be working here much longer."

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