Jul 1, 2022 - Sports

New ticket technology: "The TV Button"

TV camera looking at stadium

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The sports ticket market has matured exponentially over the last two decades, and a landscape once dominated by brokers and early StubHub adopters is now driven by teams and technology.

State of play: Once upon a time, sports teams sold tickets almost exclusively through their own channels for a relatively flat price. This allowed re-sellers to swoop in and flip them for a profit, birthing an industry of middlemen.

  • Now, teams increasingly manage their own pricing and distribution — even on secondary platforms like SeatGeek and Vivid Seats — which gives them more control over the market.
  • They're also smarter about which tickets they prioritize, where they list them online, when they apply discounts, and how they balance profits vs. attendance.

The latest: EventDynamic, which uses AI-driven models to help teams price their tickets, has a new feature called "The TV Button," which allows MLB teams and other clients to incentivize sales in sections that appear on the broadcast.

  • How it works: With the click of a button, teams can discount tickets in areas that get the most camera time, whether it's a week before the game or an hour before first pitch.
  • An example: One client has a centerfield section that frequently appears on the broadcast and is typically sold for corporate outings. "The TV Button" makes it easy for them to fill that section when there's no group attending.

What they're saying: EventDynamic CEO Rob Smith sees this as a boon for the team (better TV product), the attendee (discounted ticket) and the fan watching at home (nobody likes seeing empty seats).

"When teams control their own inventory, they have a lot more sway over the macro environment. They can prioritize the seats they want to sell."
— Smith

Go deeper: Farewell, paper tickets

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