The tech company served more than 120 data queries a day from broadcast partners
This year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has left American screens.
Not only did this year’s March Madness bring a welcome return to the arena atmospheres we know and love, it was also, perhaps, the most data-heavy college basketball tournament ever. Sportradar played a critical and expanded role in supporting CBS Sports and Turner Sports in providing deeper statistical information and analytics to bring a new layer of storytelling to live streaming.
According to the emerging technology company, its research team responded to more than 120 queries a day during the tournament. This includes fulfilling requests in real-time and delivering detailed game notes ahead of all 67 games played in the tournament.
“The level of involvement we had in this year’s tournament is something we are very proud of,” says Dave Abbott, Managing Director, US Sports Media, Sportradar. “Of course, we talk about all the work we’ve done for broadcast and how we support our partners in that effort, but the way we support teams as well as other stakeholders really shows our capabilities when different parts of our business come together and work together. in harmony for a great event.”
The company says college basketball activity has increased fivefold from last year on its “radar360” database, which gives customers the ability to analyze data to discover trends and insights on their own. The tournament had about four times the amount of radar360 usage compared to any time during the regular season.
When it comes to providing data for the live stream of the game, most surveys were delivered via on-air graphics or verbally via the broadcast team. One example was a “This Date in NCAA Tournament History” graphic used on air and noting specifically that on March 15, 1985, Coach K won his first NCAA tournament game at Duke.
Also, when Richmond defeated Iowa in the first round, the Sportradar research team did a poll on the number of times a number 12 had beaten a number 5 in recent years. The information that 12 of the last 14 tournaments had taken place became a graph in the air.
In North Carolina’s second-round game against Baylor, Sportradar shared a view of North Carolina being 44-0 in tournament history by leading by double figures at halftime. This was the most wins by a team without losses of any team in the history of the tournament.
“Having these kinds of contextual data points, especially as it pertains to the history of the tournament,” says Abbott, “helps broadcasters tell more compelling stories and brings a deeper level of appreciation of what teams and players are accomplishing.” on the square.”
This also marked the first year that Sportradar provided a women’s tournament widget to customers for the first time.
“Women’s sports have grown at an incredible rate,” says Abbott, “and we’re excited to maximize that growth with our data and technology. The continued growth in use of the Synergy product by women’s teams each year is a clear indicator that they understand the value this technology offers. Based on the high level of competition we’ve seen on the court, this is definitely translating into the product fans are consuming as well.
“From our media partners,” he continues, “there is also a growing demand for more coverage of women’s sports, which is why we built our women’s tournament widget this year. We anticipate continued growth in this area and will have the corresponding products to satisfy those needs.”
In addition to supporting broadcasters, Sportradar also provided support data to teams/managers as well as betting operators.
Through its Synergy Sports division, 386 of the total 388 teams in the NCAA Men’s and Women’s D1, D2 and D3 tournaments used a set of products. All 134 games of the men’s and women’s D1 tournament were split live by Synergy Sports, which allowed coaches to access the film and stats minutes after the game ended.
According to Sportradar, a total of 750 hours of footage were split over the course of the tournament across all divisions for men and women, and Synergy D1’s basketball videos were viewed 4,367,522 times during March Madness; this is up 5% from 2021. Of those video views, 1,633,679 were female D1 content, an 18% increase.
On the betting front, Sportradar has supported advertising campaigns for some of the biggest bookmakers in the world through its ad platform. The company says its efforts have resulted in more than 75 million impressions, across eight states and on programmatic viewing and video and digital platforms outside the home. Sportradar also provides US and Ontario betting operators with data and odds for college basketball. The company helped betting operators process over 280,000 NCAA men’s basketball betting tickets during the tournament in over 180 countries. There was an 85% year-over-year increase in tickets processed for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Sportradar had at least four field researchers ready to support the needs of CBS Sports and Turner Sports virtually 24 hours a day.
“It was a big increase and we really delivered,” says Abbott. “We had additional support remotely from our offices to ensure all needs were met quickly and with the highest level of accuracy. For an event of this magnitude, with millions of people watching, speed and accuracy are our top priorities. This was the first year that we’ve helped our partners support the tournament in that capacity, and our approach is one we’d like to replicate in the years to come.”