The NBA is about to take another major step towards its big data and streaming ambitions.
According to Bloomberg, the league is close to signing a deal worth $250 million with sports data companies Sportradar and Second Spectrum.
People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick that the deal, if its pushes through, will cover an arrangement of rights, including “selling official league data to betting houses, data analytics to teams and the development of a streaming product.”
Sportradar’s involvement with sportsbooks worldwide is consistent with the NBA’s pro stance on legalized sports betting. Though still illegal in the United States, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been very vocal in his support for legalized sports gambling.
Outside the U.S., the NBA data is particularly valuable in China, where an estimated 300 million play with basketball.
Adding NBA to its portfolio is going to be a major win for Swiss-based Sportradar, which is backed by NBA sports team owners Michael Jordan, Mark Cuban and Ted Leonsis. The sports data firm already has data contracts with the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, and the Major League Baseball. Sportradar also supplies data to daily fantasy sports operators, including FanDuel, which recently cleared a major legal hurdle in New York in early August when New York Gov. Andre Cuomo finally signed a bill that regulates the industry in his state.
Sportradar, whose U.S. headquarters is located in Minneapolis, will partner with Los Angeles-based start-up Second Spectrum for the NBA deal. Second Spectrum, makes use of data analytics and machine to generate information about a game, which it distributes to fans and team analytic departments. The company includes teams like the Los Angeles Clippers among its clients, according to a Geekwire report.
Like Sportradar, Second Spectrum also has close links to the sporting world. The start-up’s board members include former ESPN and NFL Network Chief Executive Officer Steve Bornstein and Golden State Warriors co-owner Mark Stevens.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer told Geekwire that Second Spectrum’s technology can be part of a “second screen” experience since it allows fans to “examine plays with more depth.”