NBA Inks Multiyear Deal to Deploy Sony's Hawk-Eye Innovations’ Tracking Technology

Hawk-Eye Innovations tracking tech above basketball court
(Image credit: Hawk-Eye Innovations)

ATLANTA—The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Sony’s Hawk-Eye Innovations have concluded a multi-year deal to deploy Hawk-Eye’s 3D optical tracking technology starting with the 2023-24 season.

The agreement will enable NBA tracking data to capture the game in real-time in three dimensions, including the movement of each player on the court and the ball, all at sub-second latency. This technology will provide the opportunity to enhance officiating by increasing the accuracy of calls and the speed of gameplay, including, in future seasons, through automated calls on such plays as out-of-bounds and goaltending, the NBA reported. 

“We view it as a real privilege to partner with the NBA - a truly iconic global brand and a leader in innovative sports content,” said Rufus Hack, CEO of Sony’s Sports Businesses. “We look forward to helping them unlock the power of data to continue to enhance officiating and basketball analytics, as well as to drive new immersive fan experiences.” 

The introduction of Hawk-Eye’s state-of-the-art “pose” data capture product will also provide the NBA and its teams with new applications in basketball analytics that will help them evolve how they understand on-court data and give fans a real look into the action on the court and deeper analysis of the game, the companies said. 

The data generated will also provide collaboration opportunities between the NBA and Sony’s Sports Businesses around virtual game recreations, dynamic visualizations, unique content development and gamification. 

Hawk-Eye has worked closely with the NBA since 2019 in a Proof-of-Concept capacity to fully develop and test their basketball tracking systems. Through data collection at NBA Summer League and six NBA arenas, Hawk-Eye successfully demonstrated and developed a system that meets the accuracy and latency needed to provide best-in-class ball and pose tracking to the NBA, Sony reported. 

Sportradar, the league’s exclusive data provider, will also play a critical role in working alongside Hawk-Eye to allow for the generation of accurate, reliable, low-latency tracking data, and the application of best-in-class expertise to automatically generate events, metrics, advanced stats and new engaging insights. 

George Winslow

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.