Recently, MLB announced its collaboration with Amazon Web Services. This move will see predicted pitches, deeper stats and live commentary generated by robots in the voice of remarkable announcers becoming part of the Major League Baseball broadcast in the near future. Despite the partnership, MLB will continue leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning in gathering data as well as providing more important information to fans.
Both MLB and Amazon Web Services (AWS) make up Amazon’s cloud computing, which recorded $5.4 billion in revenue the previous quarter. Both entities have been collaborating since 2014. What’s more, Amazon is known for powering Statcast, a renowned high-tech player tracking technology that aids in measuring every play in the course of a baseball game. In turn, the cutting-edge system generates statistics such as launch angles of home runs, pitching velocity, and acceleration of base runners among others.
MLB is expected to improve Statcast and launch new stat categories with the intention of creating additional personalized viewing experiences based on where a fan is watching. What’s more, the company will try to automate various game notes including scorekeeping. But what is more impressive is the intention to leverage Amazon’s technology, particularly Amazon SageMaker, in predicting pitches through assessing the catcher, pitcher, situation, and batter.
A recent press release also revealed that MLB also plans to utilize both Amazon Comprehend and SageMaker in building a language model that would develop analysis for live games, specifically in the style and tone of the most iconic announcers. This endeavor is geared towards capturing the unique broadcast spirit that baseball fans know and admire. Aside from that, Amazon Web Services also announced several new services for SageMaker that would enable users to deliver their machine-learning models to the ballpark while leveraging SageMaker’s performance.
With such an ambitious undertaking, several questions have emerged including whether fans will still be in a position to watch games featuring commentary from renowned broadcasters such as Vin Scully, and if play-by-play commentators ought to be concerned about job displacement. Based on the responses generated by the idea of utilizing robotic announcers during baseball games, some people may be okay with it but baseball purists may not.
Collaborating with Amazon is a wise marketing undertaking by Amazon. In fact, this move secured a similar fundamental deal with the NFL back in November last year. In this case, Amazon’s branding will be displayed during live game broadcast as well as in MLB promotions.
Other cloud computing companies are securing sports-related deals. For instance, Google partnered with NCAA for a cloud collaboration deal last December. In 2013, Microsoft signed a massive marketing transaction with the NFL. This is the reason why Surface tablets are visible on the sidelines. The company utilizes its Azure technology to power its Sports Performance Platform.
Amazon Web Services boasts a considerable market share lead, particularly in the cloud infrastructure market. However, Google and Microsoft have managed to slightly minimize the gap in the latest quarters. Furthermore, Amazon has other large sports deals.