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Ownership and commercialization of biometric data collected by player-tracking devices remains a critical topic in collective bargaining negotiations happening across sports. Carsten Koerl, CEO of sports data giant Sportradar, is following these discussions as his company hopes to eventually distribute player data from wearable devices to sportsbooks for fans to consume before placing bets.

“The issue is player rights and how to share revenues,” Koerl tells SportTechie. “Wearables are a valid source of data points. But it’s unfortunately at the moment, a little bit distracted by these discussions. I say, ‘Hey, that’s a huge market, let’s work together.’ I’m sure in two years’ time we will laugh about this discussion. ”

Sportradar has data distribution partnerships with leagues and federations such as the NBA, NHL, MLB, NASCAR, UEFA, FIFA and the ICC. Koerl has spoken with a commissioner of a league partnered with Sportradar who is committed to sharing data ownership with its players.

“Players use it in practice, it’s something used to hone in on their skills — recognize when they’re exhausted. But there are still some privacy concerns, so we have to look at what that will mean going forward, ”NBPA leader Tamika Tremaglio said of player-tracking data in April.

“You can see exactly — was this player in the club the night before or was he not?” Koerl adds. “I understand players have a fear from this kind of information. We can always limit this and say there are things which are entertainment products and things we only want to give to teams and coaches because they include sensitive, personalized information. That’s a balance we need to find. ”

Koerl also specifically mentioned the “brilliant” performance data being tracked in soccer by sensors worn on the cleats of players. The CBA for the National Women’s Soccer League has an entire “Physiological Data ”section and declares that data to fall under“ player likeness ”—giving players’ ownership of their data.

“Performance Data is data related to the Player’s movement, including distance, velocity, acceleration, deceleration, change of direction, and any derivative information,” reads the NWSL CBA. “Biometric Data is data or information collected relation the Player’s biological data, including but not limited to heart rate, heart rate variability, skin temperature, blood oxygen, hydration, lactate, glucose, readiness to play, or any derivative information. Individually identifiable biometric data, performance, and testing results shall not be publicly disseminated or shared with a third party unless consented by the Player. ”

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