Sportradar was the best positioned to meet all of the “data distribution needs” for Major League Baseball (MLB), according to the league’s EVP of Gaming and New Business Ventures Kenny Gersh.
Kenny was speaking as part of a media round table alongside David Lampitt, Managing Director of Sports Partnerships at Sportradar.
SBC News was given exclusive access to the round table, held on the eve of MLB’s first ever regular season outing in Europe, which pits Boston Red Sox against the New York Yankees in a two-game series at West Ham’s London Stadium.
Back in February, the MLB signed a multi-year partnership with Sportradar to enhance and expand distribution of its real time game statistics around the globe.
Across international markets outside of the US, Sportradar has exclusive distribution rights for MLB’s Statcast data to regulated sports betting operators.
Meanwhile, the company serves as an official supplier of MLB’s real time betting data feed in the US, where distribution to regulated sports betting operators is on a non-exclusive basis through all authorised distributors.
Sportradar is happy with this approach to exclusivity in the US, according to Lampitt, because it brings healthy competition amongst the market’s leading data providers, while encouraging innovation in terms of how the data is used.
Kenny added that Sportradar has helped MLB to take all the rich, reliable and fast data it collects in the ballpark through Statcast – “a system that is much more than balls and strikes” – and deliver it to the betting market.
He explained that the MLB, like Sportradar, already had the infrastructure in place to collect the data but lacked “the expertise or ability to turn it into a betting feed”.
The pair confirmed that the two parties will collaborate to develop and distribute exciting new products including an extension of the betting markets available, but stressed that those which might lead to a “perception of irregularity” – for example first pitch markets – would be deliberately minimised.
Alongside the commercial partnership, MLB has also incorporated Sportradar’s Integrity Services into its existing game integrity protection measures, something that Kenny and Lampitt agreed was a “key facet” of the partnership.
Sportradar is monitoring every MLB game via its award-winning Fraud Detection System (FDS), providing MLB with educational components as well as access to its Intelligence and Investigation services.