Sportradar recently partnered with Major League Baseball (MLB), to construct what the pair described as a wide-ranging, multi-year partnership to enhance and expand distribution of MLB’s real time game statistics globally.

Steve Byrd, the Head of Global Strategic Partnerships at Sportradar spoke to InsiderSport about how the newly formed agreement can help grow MLB and enhance the league’s fan engagement.

InsiderSport: Firstly, could you tell us more about how big an opportunity this deal is for Sportradar and its partners?

Steve Byrd: This is a tremendous deal for Sportradar and the MLB, and also for the sports ecosystem at large. The deal provides Sportradar with a unique opportunity to be the official global distributor of MLB data for sports betting operators and media. The reason this is so crucial is because the international market is ripe for development, with a real opportunity to build a deeper MLB fanbase there. We believe that increasing betting markets internationally with our data will further engage existing audiences and bring in brand new fans for the MLB.

InsiderSport: What role will MLB’s Statcast data platform play in Sportradar leveraging MLB’s data to expand the reach of the sport?

SB: With Statcast data you’re talking about deep, advanced insights such as perceived velocity, spin rate, and exit velocity. In our partnership with the MLB, we have the ability to leverage these insights to create attractive, new betting markets for sports betting operators. This data adds a new level of intrigue for bettors and allows them to bet on aspects of the game that they’ve never been able to before.

InsiderSport: How can the Sportradar partnership help MLB grow its value as a betting product?

SB: Given Sportradar’s long history in working with bookmakers internationally, we are well-positioned to maximize betting markets on behalf of the MLB. Whether it’s pre-game or in-game, game-focused, team-focused or player-focused, our expansive data and our unrivaled speed will open up many new opportunities for bettors. Also, due to the nature of baseball, where there’s a significant amount of time between each pitch/play, it lends itself naturally to a wide array of prop bets. The possibilities are endless.

InsiderSport: What role can the Sportradar partnership play with ensuring integrity in MLB?

SB: Whenever a sport is offered for betting, the potential threat of match fixing may exist. MLB is one of several leagues leading the way in ensuring that it’s doing everything it can to regulate the market, keep it clean, and make the experience more enjoyable for sports fans. To do this effectively, we monitor all wagers on the regulated market with sophisticated technology that allows us to detect and thwart any attempt to fix or otherwise corrupt a game.

InsiderSport: Can you reveal some of the MLB betting markets that the partnership with Sportradar could open up, will it allow for greater player props?

SB: Our partnership with the MLB will open up more possibilities as it pertains to live, in-game betting. Due to the speed and accuracy of our data, there will be opportunities for fans to bet on things like: Will the runner on first base successfully steal second base, or will the next pitch be a strike. Being able to predict these types of things keeps fans more engaged throughout the game and increases excitement around the sport.