MLB, Dodgers Ownership Among Investor Group Buying Universal Tennis Ratings
An eclectic group of investors, including MLB, Tennis Channel and sports investor Iconica Partners has acquired Universal Tennis Ratings (UTR). The purchase price was undisclosed. UTR, a 10-year-old platform that is already widespread among colleges, uses an algorithm that takes into account the competitiveness of matches and caliber of opponents to determine a tennis player's ranking. It is unlike the current USTA-driven system, which is based on just wins and losses and is defined by age and gender categorization. “Our vision with UTR is to unify tennis,” said new Universal Tennis CEO Mark Leschly. Other UTR investors the Dodgers' ownership, Tennis Channel Chair & CEO Ken Solomon, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd and Silver Lake Partners Managing Partner & Managing Dir Ken Hao. Tennis Channel will begin incorporating UTR into its broadcasts this year, applying UTR rankings to players on the ATP and WTA Tour. For recreational players, UTR works by having players file their match results, and currently the system has over six million match results across 600,000 players in 200 countries. It strives to create a ranking comparable to the handicap in golf. Commenting on why MLB is investing, Leschly said the league is interested in analytics and sports, and UTR offers that.