Hyderabad: The Premier Badminton League (PBL) ended two days ago on February 9. Two key features of the broadcast were the distance travelled by each player and the heat map, which signified the action area of a player. Behind these two features is city-based Matchday ai, a startup that specialises in sport data analytics.
“Data collection in sport is cumbersome. Our solutions automate data collection,” says K Harsha Vardhan, co-founder, Matchday.
It finished working with STAR Sports for the recently concluded PBL which took place over 21 days in three cities- Chennai, Lucknow and Hyderabad. “We are now pursuing a deal with a broadcaster in China,” he says.
Matchday ai was present in the production room in each of these cities and it processed live video feed and generated data that went on air live. “Our technology was outputting data in real time, with less than a second lag,” says Vardhan.
The startup gave two data points- distance travelled by each player and heatmaps. Heatmaps are a popular visualisation used in sport, such as football extensively. They visually communicate match situation, context and player strategy. “Heatmaps used to be done manually before but we have automated the process and hence have made it much more accurate,” he says.
“One of the high points for us was when PV Sindhu was taking on World No 2 Tai Tzu Ying( who holds the record as player who held No 1 position for the longest time) in Hyderabad in PBL. Our heatmaps for both players were shown at a crucial time in the match. The heatmaps clearly denoted how Sindhu was using her reach to her advantage and staying in the middle of the court whereas Tai Tzu Ying was being made to work much more due to her shorter height. This put into perspective for viewers the key parameter on which the match was being fought,” he says.
The company says it can give data points for badminton and football now. More, sport events will be added gradually. For scaling it up, it wants to engage with training academies. “These inputs will help learners improve their game and also understand how rivals strategise,” he says.
Among others, it is looking up to amateur sport, which is getting competitive by the day. “Many participants want their videos to be captured so that they can be put on social media. Now, these facilities are available for only big events. We can cut a string of clips for participants,” he says adding that the company can aid game zones offer services like analytics and video clips to enhance user experience for their customers. For this, it can work on a revenue share basis, says Ganesh Yaparala, another co-founder.