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Touchdown Called Back: Fleaflicker Founder Buys Back Fantasy Sports Site From AOL

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Over three years ago, we reported that AOL had acquired the New Jersey-based fantasy sports site Fleaflicker. It seemed like a touchdown for 26-year-old founder Ori Schwartz. Now it’s looking more like a touchdown that was just called back.

AOL has alerted members of the service today that Schwartz has bought back Fleaflicker. As of July 22, AOL will no longer be in control of the site which has dwindled under the control of our parent company. “While we love Fleaflicker (and our users love Fleaflicker), we wanted to find a home for the product where it can receive more love and attention,” is the subtle middle finger in their FAQ.

The good news is that the service now has a new lease of life. The newly created Fleaflicker LLC will continue to operate things without interruption. And all user data will remain intact without users have to do anything (those who do not wish to have their data transfered to the newly-owned service can opt-out). It will also remain free.

The bad news is that the timing of the transition could not be any worse. Every day, it’s looking more and more likely that the NFL lockout will put at least a part of the upcoming season in jeopardy. The NBA also faces a lockout this coming season. This will all be very problematic for fantasy sports in the coming months, to say the least.

Still, let’s hope that Fleaflicker can tap back into their bootstrapped ways and get back to the point that they were at in 2006, when Mike called them the “better” fantasy sports site.

Below, the message to users:

Dear AOL Fleaflicker User:

Fleaflicker has been acquired by its original founder, Ori Schwartz. As of July 22, 2011 AOL will no longer operate the Fleaflicker service.

The good news is that Ori’s company, Fleaflicker LLC, will continue to operate the service without interruption. All your fantasy teams and account information (including your login E-mail) will be transferred to Fleaflicker LLC. Please review the Fleaflicker LLC Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Nothing is required of you to continue playing fantasy sports for free on Fleaflicker. However, if you do not want your data to be transferred, you may opt out by clicking here before July 22, 2011. If you do not opt out by this date, we will automatically begin the transition.

Sincerely,

The AOL Fleaflicker Team

For more information on the transfer of your account, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions area at http://www.fleaflicker.com/transition-faq.