Insider Sport’s Year In Review: November – December

As 2019 comes to a close Insider Sport looks through the year to highlight major news that you might have missed in the sports world. 

Our final edition looks at November and December with a specific focus on an interview with Sportradar Integrity Services’ Managing Director Andreas Krannich, the latest evolution in sports broadcasting, the formation of a comprehensive integrity infrastructure and Assessing Amazon’s Premier League debut.

Sportradar’s Andreas Krannich on the future of identifying integrity risks

We spoke to Andreas Krannich, Managing Director at Sportradar Integrity Services about the main technical challenges when it comes to identifying integrity risks and eradicating sporting corruption in 2020.

InsiderSport: Are cases of integrity breaches rising or falling? What sports are most and least at risk from being targeted by criminals?

Krannich: “At a global level, the number of sporting contests displaying clear signs of manipulation has been broadly consistent over the past five years. At Sportradar, we detect approximately 11 cases of suspected fixed matches on a weekly basis across the world. 

“There are variations across seasons and across sports, but the overall picture is clear – match-fixing is a real and present danger. 

“There are, however, many success stories, and one we take pride in is the significant decrease in match-fixing problems in Asian football over the past few years. Led by the zero-tolerance stance of the AFC, and supported by Sportradar’s monitoring and detection and investigation units, several landmark match-fixing prosecutions have been brought, which has sent a clear message to match-fixers in the region.” 

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FITE – The latest evolution in sports broadcasting

Sports broadcasting is a continually evolving sector as rights holders look to maximise engagement and increase viewership, amongst fans that are constantly eyeing innovative ways to view their sport. 

What with a plethora of pay-per-view contests and a host of new sports seeking to break into the mainstream, combat sports are a hive for innovation amongst broadcasters. 

FITE is the latest stage in sports broadcasting’s evolution, with the digital network thriving on its ability to deliver live content, as it seeks to stand apart from other OTT platforms. 

Michael Weber, the Chief Operating Officer of the growing combat sports platform, stated: “A key part of what impresses people in the industry is our ability to coordinate our expansive portfolio of shows, it takes a great deal of planning and communications. Around 95% of our shows we take via the internet, as opposed to being taken via satellite, this means a lot of coordination with the promoters on site is integral to what we do.”

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ITF and TIU Supervisory Board plan major tennis integrity investment

The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) Supervisory Board and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) have announced the formation of a comprehensive integrity infrastructure for the ITF’s World Tennis Tour (WTT). 

As part of the new collaboration, tennis integrity will benefit from significant investment as well as a host of new and improved anti-corruption protocols, enabling the progressive removal of live scoring data at all WTT $15k events. 

The move builds on the sport’s continued efforts to eradicate corruption, a battle which was accelerated in 2016 when the four organisations principally responsible for governing professional tennis at the international level (ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board) appointed an Independent Review Panel (IRP) to address betting-related and other integrity issues facing the sport. 

Initially, the panel proposed completely discontinuing live data for the tour, comprising both $15k and $25k events. However, after discussions between the IBIA and IRP, it published its final recommendations in December 2018 which included limiting the sale of data at the $15k level on the basis that the $25k remained – a core data recommendation finally approved today.

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Assessing Amazon’s Premier League debut

This week saw Amazon make its much anticipated English Premier League broadcasting debut, as Tuesday’s victories for Crystal Palace and Manchester City ushered in a round of high drama for the online giant. 

The platform’s entry into a space that in recent years has been dominated by Sky and BT, comes as the value of rights and levels of engagement within English football’s top tier continues to surge. 

Feedback on the platform’s broadcasting of the round was largely positive as it sought to enrich the viewing experience with an abundance of data and fresh punditry perspectives.

The efficiency of being able to watch on mobile and tablets allowed fans to split screen and immerse themselves in a myriad of stats and data whilst still engaging with the live action. This feature also allowed fans to rewatch highlights during the match which no doubt saw its fair share of usage considering the quality of goals scored across the 10 matches.  

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