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Bundesliga’s latest AI-driven metrics set to help fans, broadcasters, and clubs


Bundesliga’s collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to create headlines. In the goal of enhancing fan interaction, these two powerhouses have developed two new machine learning-powered match statistics. Not only that, but they’re upgrading broadcasts and giving member clubs more information about what’s going on in the field.

It all started last weekend, when viewers of the Bundesliga’s domestic and international broadcasts saw real-time data on the likelihood of a goal coming from a set piece. Furthermore, users of the league’s official mobile app will receive data-driven talent ratings for the league’s top players. The two metrics are not the first as part of the two organisations’ lengthy collaboration; in fact, they are the ninth and tenth ‘Match Facts’ we have seen. This is due to computer vision algorithms collecting data from up to 20 cameras installed in each Bundesliga stadium.

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This technology tracks the position of the ball, referee, and players 25 times every second. It uploads data to the cloud every 40 milliseconds, allowing the match’s status to be determined within 500 milliseconds. As if that wasn’t enough, the programme then turns this information into insights that can be shared through digital platforms.

More to analyse

By comparing a team’s performance to that of the league leader, the ‘Set piece threat’ assesses the chance of a successful goal from a free kick or corner. The figure does not account for an opponent’s ability to defend set pieces. However, in order to convey more useful knowledge, more recent interactions have more weight. Not only that, but ‘Skill’ examines every Bundesliga and second-tier 2 Bundesliga player’s data. This research classifies them into four categories: finishing, speed, assists, and turnovers.

All of the relevant measurements for each skill are combined into a single score, and any player in the top ten in any area appears in broadcast visuals when they come on as a substitute, as well as in their profile on the Bundesliga app. The goal is for these visualisations to inspire conversation among fans and maybe disclose buried stories.

Digital is becoming increasingly crucial for sports looking to engage new and existing fans; the Bundesliga is in a strong position because it controls broadcast production as well as data collection. This implies that they will be able to work rapidly with the partners and stakeholders it chooses to launch new digital services and broadcast innovations.

Aside from fan interaction, the Bundesliga expects that its ‘Match Facts’ will give the teams an advantage and augment their present data inventory. The Bundesliga’s data operations are a huge help for German teams when it comes to scouting and match analysis. There has even been speculation that increased data usage among coaches and players is having a significant impact on the field.