May 13, 2022
MLB Network produces “Bettor’s Eye” using a web based graphics platform
Leading up to the 2021 MLB season, longtime Reality Check Systems (RCS) client MLB Network was looking for an innovative graphics solution using a web based cloud platform for Major League Baseball’s first-ever betting show.
Knowing the value and speed the Singular platform could deliver from previous experience, MLB Network’s engineering department, including Brian Perkins (Sr. Director, IT Production Systems, Engineering) spotted the opportunity to use it to render all graphics in the cloud while real-time data and assets lived in their RCS AWS buckets. MLB Network’s creative services team collaborated with the RCS development team leading up to the season on the design and animation look, while MLB Network’s production team worked with RCS team on betting interfaced content and the functionality of the front end control application. Use of the RCS proprietary Cobb platform Application provided the MLB Network production team the ability to build interfaced and manual pages in a playlist for both the bottom and side bar layouts.
The RCS AWS bucket stored a plethora of data; interfaced betting data provided by betMGM and SportRadar APIs, and all assets such as logos, player headshots and sponsors. To ensure MLB Network could run with their current control room workflow, the RCS engineer team built out new Singular hardware solutions - utilizing Touchdesigner application to convert the output URL into SDI.
As the season grew closer, the production team began testing the Application and output with their control room workflow and the API interface. MLB Network provided feedback on the initial rehearsals and the RCS Development team made revisions and updates to the Application workflow, ensuring fast API calls and optimized application efficiency.
MLB’s Bettor’s Eye launched on Opening Day, on April 1, 2021. The half-hour show streamed on MLB.com, YouTube and Twitter. The Singular LBar overlay provided real-time betMGM odds for bets for each game like the run line, money line and over/under to future bets like World Series winner and MVP races for each league. As the season progressed, MLB Network’s production team requested RCS add new betting options and templates to the RCS Cobb Application to enhance the presentation and content value to the viewer.
The launch of Bettor’s Eye was a strong success, with MLB Network simulcasting the program towards the end of the regular season. In addition, MLB Network produced a special Postseason watch-along show that streamed on MLB.com, YouTube and Twitter. During this Postseason show, real time live odds and bets were presented throughout the game while the co-hosts discussed all the betting options.
The RCS development team created an efficient cloud based workflow for MLB Network that saved time, money and workflow difficulty. With this solution, MLB Network did not have to use their legacy VizRT work stations to add this new show to its programming, which provided efficiency costs for all parties. RCS Producer Glenn White noted “how easy it [was] to work with the Singular platform to develop a complex app using multiple data sources while providing manual functionality.”
Looking ahead to the 2022 season, MLB Network and RCS started exploring new ideas to enhance the content of the show and the Singular workflow. RCS added new interfaced callup pages for Division, Pennant and World Series prop winners, plus home run and RBI in game props for each game. Lastly, a big board interfaced template was built out that displays the full slate of the games odds for that day. On the technical side, the production updated their SDI conversion software to Open Broadcaster Software (OBS).
Singular is a revolutionary cloud native, browser-based graphic overlays platform. Cobb is a desktop solution that controls Singular through templates and playlists to take to air. Using a RCS built compact computer they used the Touchdesigner app (now OBS) to convert the web output URL to an SDI source to work with the MLB Network control room workflow.