More and more sports fans are interacting with a “second screen” — a phone, a tablet, a laptop, etc. — while they watch live sports on TV as a way to access additional information, data, analysis, and other sports-related content.
Comcast wants that entire experience happening in one place — its platform.
The cable giant today announced the acquisition of OneTwoSee, a Philadelphia-based startup that will help Comcast continue building out its sports innovation strategy.
OneTwoSee develops digestible data-focused content that offers sports fans more insight into statistics, analytics, and more. The startup first partnered with Comcast two years ago — its first commercial customer, at the time — and has powered some aspects of the cable company’s X1 Sports app with scores, stats, standings, schedules, and more.
With the acquisition, OneTwoSee’s 16-person team will continue developing software for the X1 Sports app and keep working out of its own office, which is just across the street from Comcast’s headquarters in Philadelphia.
Preston Smalley, VP of Product for Sports and X1 Apps at Comcast, told GeekWire that his company enjoyed working with OneTwoSee over the past few years and made the acquisition “to see what was possible.” He noted that OneTwoSee takes data and “makes it meaningful” for sports viewers.
“It was becoming more clear that this was an important value proposition for Comcast to be able to have this as part of our overall X1 experience,” he said.
Comcast noted that usage of its sports app is now up fivefold since this past winter and is used by one in four X1 households on a weekly basis.
“We’re really excited to have this platform, reach, and resources through this partnership with Comcast,” said OneTwoSee co-founder and CEO Chris Reynolds.
OneTwoSee will continue working with other clients in the media industry, which include companies like LG and Samsung. Smalley noted that there is “a lot of opportunity to license the technology.” Here’s an example of recent work it did with Fox Sports:
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 14, 2015
Several tech giants, from Facebook to Twitter to Microsoft to Snapchat, are trying to come up with content platforms for sports fans. Many want to be part of the so-called “second-screen” experience for sports fans who use other devices while watching live sporting events on TV to find more sports-related information and content.
Comcast, meanwhile, already has millions of fans using its service in order to watch the live games. The company wants to include those “second-screen” offerings within its own X1 platform that fans can utilize before, during, and after games.
“Where we really see differentiation is when we marry data and information with the actual content, so that you’re able to watch the game through your cable service but have that alongside,” Smalley explained. “Nobody else really has both of those and across all sports, in one place.”
Under its new ownership, Reynolds said that his team plans to continue adding more personalization features to its technology, whether that means easier access to your fantasy football team stats or video highlights from your hometown squad. There are also ideas to integrate more social media activity.
Reynolds and his co-founder, Jason Angelides, worked at startups that built data aggregation technology before they teamed up to launch OneTwoSee. He said they applied the same lessons and insights from their past experience to the sports world.
“We’ve spent a lot of time slicing and dicing this data so it makes sense to the sports fan and so we can tell a story that fans can ingest,” he said. “We want to give them a better idea of what they’re watching and add more value to the game itself.”