Unless you've tried to make a sports app, you might not realize how hard it is to get data about sports. And most sports are full of data about possession, assists and other sporty attributes. The Sports Data API aims to make it more available, at prices that should allow more apps to be able to afford including the data.
Sports Data's pricing is $500 for basic American football scores, less for other sports. The basic level appears to be enough for daily updates to your data. The bill can go up if you need more frequent access, such as reporting real-time game activity.
$500 is still a pretty penny for something anyone can find on any number of sites around the web. Sports Data's Dave Abbott points out that his company charges less than many competitors. "We currently provide data quality comparable to the highest priced provider in the space," Abbott said. "We have proven it's possible to provide a high quality product at a reasonable price."
Any data from a sports game needs to be collected and that is expensive. And you know how on TV the announcer says that nothing from the game can be reproduced or retransmitted? That covers stats, too, though the FCC doesn't agree. Nevertheless, right now it means stats collection has to happen on-site, which makes the collection all the more expensive.
However, using an API to provide the data allows for some interesting pricing options and makes it possible for a company like Sports Data to scale its offering. "We price based on the frequency customers access our data, which ultimately comes down to number of requests a customer makes," Abbott said. "All of our customers see all of the real-time data we produce--they are only limited on how many requests they can make for it."
Data providers of any type that do not have an API, should be investigating one now. When pricing structures are able to shift so drastically, current customers will sniff around, and there's a whole new level of customer that becomes available.
Photo by Daniel Borman