American data service to take on PA Sport

From Guardian Unlimited
Stats, the American-based sports data and information service co-owned by News Corporation and the Associated Press, is expanding into Europe, in a bid to take on rivals including PA Sport.

The company will partner Warner Leach and the Dutch website and magazine publisher, JHB Publications, through offices in London, Barcelona, Munster, Milan and its head office in The Hague.

Stats provides real-time results, news coverage and photos of sports events to publishers across north America, India, China and Japan.

The service is primarily for TV, web and mobile services. Clients include Yahoo!, Fox Sports, ESPN and AOL. In the UK, Stats is already the principal provider for News Corp outlets including Times Online’s fantasy football game.

The 25-year-old company will begin with football coverage in Europe and expand to other sports as it becomes more established.

In the US, Stats has a 55% share of the sports data market, said its chief executive, Gary Walrath. He said it wanted to build on that foundation in central and South America and in Europe.

“We’ve tested the model in the far east, supplying three of the largest Chinese sports portals. The product has to be localised but it’s a global business and we want to be an alternative to PA Sport,” he added.

“We want to provide a friendlier service than the principal source in the past, be more competitive, highly reliable and ultimately improve the product for the end user. There’s a growing demand for sports content.”

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