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AOL kicks off free fantasy sports

Company offers free online fantasy-sports games to its paying members and outside Web users.

America Online has begun offering free online fantasy-sports games to its paying members and outside Web users, as it attempts to attract and retain customers with new services. On Monday, the company launched fantasy leagues based around the National Football League and college football, and detailed plans to provide games for additional sports in the future.

The new service, dubbed as Fantasy Sports@AOL, will be supported by a partnership between the Time Warner subsidiary and Fanball.com, an established fantasy-sports content provider. AOL reported that Fanball built the Fantasy Sports@AOL portal and will continue to operate it in conjunction with the AOL Sports division. AOL said that fantasy sports players who also use its AOL Alerts system can receive updates on their teams' performance via their wireless devices.