Feb 28, 2019

MLB's deal with Sportsradar presents data privacy questions

Jesse Chavez of the Cubs pitching in spring training. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Major League Baseball has inked a new multi-year deal with Sportsradar to make the firm its exclusive gatekeeper for betting data across the globe, starting with the 2019 season.

Why it matters: This deal could pave the way for in-game betting opportunities in baseball — the sport most ripe for live wagering with so many stops and starts between pitches. Sportsradar will get that data seconds before other non-MLB feeds do.

Details: The deal will allow Sportsradar to act as the middle man when selling fast-access, exclusive MLB data to bookmakers and media companies.

  • The MLB has installed camera systems in all 30 stadiums that capture and record data on players as the game progresses. Sportsradar now has access to that data.
  • Sportsradar is the exclusive seller overseas, but won't have the same exclusivity within the U.S. It will also help the MLB monitor bets for "integrity."

The big picture: With this deal comes more questions. There's still a big battle brewing across all sports about tracking and how players should be compensated when data is sold in deals like this one.

  • For example, if the MLB is selling access to information like how fast Clayton Kershaw's next pitch will be, shouldn't he get a cut of that revenue? The answer is unclear so far.

The bottom line: This new deal gives the league a cut for its data feeds and allows it to maintain the legitimacy of wagers placed on its games. But questions about data privacy and players will have to be answered at some point.

Go deeper: Sports leagues struggle to deal with data

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,513,358 — Total deaths: 88,415 — Total recoveries: 329,329Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 430,376 — Total deaths: 14,739 — Total recoveries: 23,707Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Top Trump administration officials had been developing a plan to give cloth masks to huge numbers of Americans, but the idea lost traction amid heavy internal skepticism.
  4. States latest: New York has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe. Chicago's Cook County jail is largest-known source of coronavirus in U.S.
  5. Business: One-third of U.S. jobs are at risk of disappearing, mostly affecting low-income workers.
  6. World: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to put politics aside "if you don’t want to have many more body bags.”
  7. Environment: COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.
  8. Tech: A new report recommends stimulus spending to help close the digital divide revealed by social distancing.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: New York tops previous day's record death toll

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York's death toll surged to its highest one-day total on Wednesday — beating the previous day's record. 779 people died in the state in 24 hours. The state has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe.

Why it matters: Public health officials have warned this would be a particularly deadly week for America, even as New York began to see declining trends of hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 22 mins ago - Health

The pandemic and pollution

New York City's skyline on a smoggy day in May 2019. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.

Why it matters: Old-fashioned air pollution is almost certainly the single biggest environmental health threat, contributing to the deaths of some 7 million people a year according to the WHO, making it comparable to deaths from smoking.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health