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Stats LLC Eyes TV Market For SportVu Data As Revenues From New Tech Keep Rising
Published January 21, 2014
SEPARATING WHEAT FROM CHAFF: Ecker noted the broadcast nets are "watching carefully" as the NBA, journalists and fans "figure out what's most valuable to understanding the game." Those nets "may end up buying the data from Stats for their broadcasts or live online game-casts -- but only if there's an appetite for such information and it's easy for fans to digest." Even if the nets and brands "want to buy the data, Stats must tread carefully to avoid offending league and team partners." Walrath said that the NFL "wasn't enamored" when Stats licensed data to non-league sponsor New York Life Insurance Co. in '10 to build the "New York Life Protection Index," which measured offensive line play around the league. Walrath: "We know we have to look out for (league partner) interests as well, but how we get that right without self-censoring is the key." Ecker noted another sign that SportVU data "could bolster the company's bottom line: Its owners may soon put the company up for sale." A source said that private-equity firms have "kicked the tires on what could be" a $200M purchase. Walrath confirmed Stats, which is a joint venture of News Corp. and the AP, is "exploring possibilities" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 1/18).