Will Fans Start Betting On Athletes' Biometrics During A Televised Game?

Dramatic heart pounding in key sports moments aren’t only about what goes on with adoring fans. 

Now, with major sports leagues set to return to TV soon, new content will be considered, such as how many times an athlete’s heart beats per minute.

Also consider an athlete’s respiration rate, temperature, blood pressure and other measures. And it isn’t just about that data showing up on TV screens, but perhaps wagering on that data.

Think about this in the context of states now allowed by a 2018 Supreme Court decision to let companies begin legalize sports operations.

An article in The Hollywood Reporter written by David Sussman, special counsel at the law firm Jenner & Block and Amy Egerton-Wiley, a Los Angeles-based associate of the same firm, suggests as much.



It revolves around a bigger subject — commercializing all kinds if data when it comes to sports wagers. That, in turn, brings up important questions for athletes, leagues, TV networks.

Who owns this personal data coming from possible internet-connected wearable, performance-measuring devices, clothing and sport equipment?

Sports wagering/gaming operations has had access to granular athletes’ sports performance data for years -- batting averages,  strikeout and ERA data, yard per carry, basketball points assets and rebounds, and goals scored -- just to name a few.

On sporadic occasions, this data has made appearances selectively on TV screens for sports like professional road cycling. NBCSN, for one, has been a place where a cyclist’s heart rate, power (wattage), and bike speed could be displayed.

To date, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has approved of the use of wearable technologies for health and safety reasons. But not much else.

Major League Baseball has an agreement with the players association to collect data from wearables on “any device, sensor, equipment, attire or dashboard technology which is designed to measure a player’s health, performance and/or readiness.” But not for commercial use of the data.

The writers say: “In the future, leagues or teams may seek to license players’ biometric data as part of the other licensed media rights, meaning the data could be content in a broadcast or webstream which viewers could access, including for uses when betting.”

Care to wager on how nervous a baseball player is as he steps to the plate of a tied ninth-inning game with runnings in score position?

Maybe there’s a bet to be made on high/low nerves. Anti-anxiety TV advertising to follow.

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