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ESPN Taps Genius Sports for Immersive Coverage at NCAA Women’s Basketball Tourney

ESPN
(Image credit: ESPN)

BRISTOL, Conn. & NEW YORK—Genius Sports Limited has announced that it will be working with ESPN to provide AI-powered tracking data and live video augmentations for ESPN’s coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.

Through its Second Spectrum division, Genius Sports will provide ESPN and consumers with the first live augmented video feeds for women’s basketball, delivering new levels of interactivity and insight, the company said. 

For its coverage of the Women’s Basketball Championships, ESPN will be able to select from a suite of data-driven visualizations, including split-second shot probabilities and distances to 3-point special effects, captured through optical tracking technology that identifies and delivers the precise coordinates of every player and the ball, 25 times a second.

Genius Sports’ technology and augmentation solutions will be utilized during the Women's Final Four and National Championship games. 

“Expanding our relationship with Second Spectrum to support the Women’s Tournament and their fans is another exciting first for us,” said Kevin Lopes, ESPN vice president, sports business development & innovation. “The augmented feeds for the NCAA Women’s Final Four and National Championship game will provide fans with an exciting viewing option that leans into innovative stats and visuals.”

ESPN will also have access to Genius Sports’ unique Insight tool, generating advanced statistical insights on individual teams and players. As the Official Optical Tracking Provider of the NBA, Second Spectrum has worked closely with ESPN for the last six years, capturing rich tracking data and delivering augmentations as well as helping to power the first-of-its-kind ‘Marvel’s Arena of Heroes’ alternate broadcast on ESPN in 2021.

“We are proud to work with ESPN, through the best-in-class work Second Spectrum does, to give the millions of fans young and old, an immersive experience for March Madness that will set a new course not just for the NCAA Championships, but for all of sport that is played by women the world over,” said Mark Locke, CEO of Genius Sports. “It is a new high bar that we will push, and there is no better place to raise that bar than the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament with ESPN.”

Genius Sports is the exclusive supplier of official NCAA data, having worked alongside the governing body since 2018 to develop NCAA LiveStats, the NCAA's official tool for the collection, management and distribution of game statistics. 

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.