STATS Acquires TVTI, Preps Launch of New Video Scouting Technology for MLB

STATS continued its wave of acquisitions today, acquiring TVT Video Technologies Inc. (TVTI) with an eye toward bolstering its video-scouting-technology business for baseball. The majority of MLB organizations — as well as NHL teams — use TVTI’s services to review and analyze indexed video. STATS is looking to leverage TVTI’s technology and market footprint to launch a next-generation video system for MLB teams this summer to complement its existing scouting and player-development analytics system.

“TVTI has been a leader in video systems for teams’ analytics for years, particularly in baseball but in hockey as well,” says Bill Squadron, EVP, global strategy, STATS. “We have been developing a next-generation video system for [baseball] clubs to complement our scouting and player-development systems, which many teams already use. As we looked at what TVTI has done over the years and their expertise, we felt that it would accelerate our introduction of a superior video system and fine-tune it to the clubs’ needs.”

The new video coaching system, which will build on STATS’ existing BSports scouting and player-development system, is currently being beta-tested by one MLB franchise this season, and STATS hopes to roll out a fully baked system to all teams after the All-Star break.

“We have had one team using the system since the beginning of the season, and they are increasing their usage. It’s gone very well,” says Squadron. “With TVTI now on board, we expect to be able to roll out across all the baseball clubs later this summer a video system that will take things to the next level. I think that has been needed for some time, and we are looking forward to working with everyone throughout the league on this exciting opportunity.”

TVTI’s 10-person staff will remain intact at its existing facility in Portland, OR. According to Squadron, the staff will interact and collaborate extensively with STATS’ Chicago and New York staffs.

“There is no more highly regarded engineering team than the group at TVTI; ask any video coordinator around the league. We felt it complements perfectly our interests in providing the best possible video system for baseball teams. We have needed to bolster our video-engineering team in terms of numbers and capability, so this is a great addition.”

The deal follows a parade of STATS acquisitions over the past nine months: Bloomberg Sports (now BSports), The Sports Network, Automated Insights, and, just last week, Prozone. STATS itself was acquired by Vista Equity Partners in May 2014.

“Vista’s vision, which we are actively pursuing, is to provide the leading data and analytics products and services in the sports industry worldwide — for teams, leagues, broadcasters, and other media platforms,” says Squadron. “I think TVTI is a perfect piece of that because most of that vision is centered on making sure that we have best-of-breed technology, which is exactly what they provide to teams all over the country.”

In the four major professional sports leagues in North America — NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL — 86% of teams use STATS’ in-depth data, technologies, or analytics solutions. In addition, STATS’ SportVU optical tracking system has been implemented at every NBA arena, and its BSports pro-baseball system is used extensively throughout Major League Baseball.

“We look forward to joining the global STATS family as we continue to build on our relationships with MLB and NHL teams,” says TVTI co-founder Ken Rhodes. “TVTI’s technology will integrate well with STATS’ data and the BSports pro-baseball system, and we are excited about working together to provide the next generation of video services to sports teams globally.”

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