Sportradar strikes Belgian basketball live streaming deal

9 July 2019

Sports data intelligence provider Sportradar will partner with PlaySight and the EuroMillions Basketball League (EMBL), the professional men’s basketball competition in Belgium, to launch a new streaming service to better engage fans and maximise betting opportunities.

Coverage of all EMBL games and associated content will now be produced and distributed via PlaySight’s Smart AI and automated production sports technology through Sportradar OTT, the supplier's over-the-top streaming product. Fans of the league in Belgium and beyond will also see automated graphics from LIGR (Live Graphic Systems) embedded into all EMBL games as part of the partnership.

Wim Van de Keere, the General Manager of the EMBL, said he hoped the partnership would blaze a trail for professional basketball leagues.

"We believe that this will be a blueprint for other professional leagues across the world,” Van de Keere said. “We can’t wait to get started on this new collaboration for next season and have carefully selected best-in-class partners with the capabilities offered by Sportradar, PlaySight and LIGR.

"Beyond the enhanced viewing experience, we look forward to adding real-time video for coaching and instant replay purposes for our referees to further enhance the quality of our basketball. It will also open up additional commercial opportunities for the clubs and the league.”

PlaySight's Smart sports artificial intelligence solution, which is adapted from technology used to train Israeli fighter pilots, was initially developed for tennis in 2010 before the company expanded to other sports including basketball in 2017. The company's Basketball SmartCourt technology is already used by serveral professional teams including the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics.  

Powered by computer vision, AI and proprietary algorithms, PlaySight's technology provides real-time video for fans, match officials and coaches.

Felix Blank, Sportradar’s director of digital platforms, said PlaySight made for a natural partner for the supplier.

“PlaySight’s live and on-demand video capabilities will integrate seamlessly with the Sportradar OTT platform, improving operational efficiency while ensuring fans enjoy the best possible experience when watching the EuroMillions Basketball League live or on demand.

LIGR, meanwhile, is an alumnus of Australia’s leading tech accelerator, Startmate and counts broadcast and technology companies, including Input Media, as clients and partners as well as the Australian Football League and the European Cricket League.

The developer's chief executive Luke McCoy said he expects the technology to both engage fans and create new commerical opportunities.

“We are rapidly expanding our team and technology within our automated, cloud graphics platform and continue to be led by a deep passion for sports and basketball on the world stage,” McCoy said. “We are excited to help expose the talent within the EMBL, engage new and old fans with in-game statistics and highlight key performances while opening up live, in-game commercial opportunities that previously didn't exist.”