SBJ/September 17-23, 2012/Media

Bloomberg eyes Europe with soccer analytics

Bloomberg Sports is making its first significant entry into the European market with this week’s introduction of BSports Football, a soccer analytics data product focusing on five major European leagues.

BSports Football will be a multiplatform digital product analyzing teams and players from the English Premier League, La Liga in Spain, Bundesliga in Germany, Ligue 1 in France and Serie A in Italy, as well as continental competition such as the Champions League and the UEFA European Cup Championship.

BSports Football will be unveiled Wednesday.
The product will be akin to Bloomberg’s suite of online and mobile sports data products sold in the United States, particularly around fantasy football, but the European entry will be targeted to both mainstream fan markets as well as bookmakers and bettors in areas where legalized gambling around soccer exists. Bloomberg will formally introduce the new offering Wednesday at an event it is hosting in London.

BSports Football is the first major effort to arrive out of an alliance struck earlier this year between Bloomberg Sports and IMG in which the agency acquired a minority stake in Bloomberg’s sports data unit. The deal, which industry sources value between $6 million and $8 million, was struck with an eye toward opening European and Asian markets for analytics products built particularly around soccer and cricket.

“This in a lot of ways is the next big step in the strategy we’ve embarked upon to become a true global operation,” said Bill Squadron, head of Bloomberg Sports. “We think this is going to become a compelling information tool.”

BSports will be offered free for an initial trial period, and then sold at a rate of either about $6.50 a month or a little more than $32 for an entire soccer season. One subscription will enable access across nearly every personal computer, tablet or smartphone, similar to how many digital products are now sold in the U.S. BSports will begin with analysis only on a pregame and postgame basis, but in early 2013 Bloomberg intends to bolster the product with live, in-match analytics.

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