SBJ/Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2013/Media

Bloomberg boosts scout system

Up to eight customized video angles now part of analytics platform

Four years into its effort to leverage its financial markets expertise in the sports world, Bloomberg Sports is substantially expanding its professional baseball scouting tools.

The company has built out capabilities with partner MLB Advanced Media to link as many as eight customized video angles to its analytics platform.

Bloomberg works with 26 of 30 MLB teams to varying degrees.
That platform previously included real-time statistics, location-based data and various ways for teams to analyze that information, but only one, standard broadcast video feed. The new system now incorporates cameras each team has placed in its ballpark that are designed to isolate on specific positions and players.

For example, when a club looks to analyze specific batter-for-pitcher matchups, it can isolate specific pitches and now have those pitches directly linked to video from multiple vantage points.

Bloomberg Sports intends to formally introduce the expanded platform at the winter meetings, which will take place next month in Orlando.

“Being able to incorporate a whole suite of video options was really the one last big piece we were needing to having this be a true one-stop solution,” said Bill Squadron, head of Bloomberg Sports.

“There’s a great interest around the industry in marrying data with video as video has become such a critical piece of puzzle, and we now have the ability to truly tie that all together,” he said.

The company works with 26 of 30 MLB clubs to varying degrees. Several teams, including the Chicago Cubs and Washington, have extensive alignments with Bloomberg Sports.

But the new effort represents a move to upsell many clubs spending at a more modest level, and convert some of the remaining holdouts. The expanded analytics system carries a base price of about $200,000 a year for the hardware, software, and technical support.

Bloomberg Sports also intends for the expanded scouting system to be implemented by major clubs for their minor league affiliates.

“As clubs’ video coordinators have become more important to their overall baseball operation, we’ve spent a lot of time trying to improve their workflow and their efficiency,” Squadron said.

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