In St. Paul, Nick Woltman profiled SportsData, which is a 4-year-old company that "feeds information from nearly 20,000 sporting events annually to the likes of Google, Bleacher Report and Facebook." Swiss sports info and gambling firm Sportradar in November "acquired the company in a cash and stock deal designed to extend the European firm's reach" into the U.S. market. SportsData employs "23 full-timers on its sales, administrative and technology teams," as well as "120 part-time student workers" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/25).
BROAD-CASTE SYSTEM: SI.com's Richard Deitsch wrote FS1's college basketball ratings serve as "an example of how hard it is for a fledgling sports network to knock off ESPN." The "most-viewed college basketball game that aired since the start" of the '13-14 season is ESPN's Michigan State-Kentucky on Nov. 12, which drew 4.0 million viewers. FS1's "most-viewed college basketball game for this season came on Dec. 1 with Kentucky-Providence, a game that drew 360,413 viewers." Furthermore, ESPN's "least-viewed game this season (George Washington-Marquette) beat FS1's most-viewed game by 49,781 viewers" (SI.com, 1/26).
NATIONAL ATTENTION: In DC, Dan Steinberg reported Nationals LF Bryce Harper and P Stephen Strasburg were in Bristol last week "filming 'This is SportsCenter' commercials for ESPN." The players "apparently filmed two separate spots." Harper's is with Hannah Storm and "a couple other ESPN anchors" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 1/27).
GETTING BIG-GER: Big Ten Network drew a 1.5 local rating in its eight-market footprint (Chicago, Cleveland-Akron, Columbus, Dayton, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis-St. Paul) for the men's college basketball doubleheader on Jan. 22 featuring Michigan-Iowa and Minnesota-Wisconsin. That rating is the net's best on record for a "Super Wednesday" doubleheader. The previous best was a 1.42 rating on Jan. 30, 2013 for a doubleheader featuring Indiana-Nebraska and Purdue-Michigan (BTN).