Online Gambling Business

Online Gambling Business

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sports Data feeds

What are sports data feeds and why are so important for an online sportsbook? 

Data feeds are specialized data streams transmitted between a server and a web application. The data feeds are offered in XML format (Extensible Markup Language) or JSON format (JavaScript Object Notation) by sports data feeds providers.
Example of data feeds

Sports data feeds provide information like: odds, event schedule, statistics, ticker, line ups, event archive, live commentaries, league tables and many more. For example, on a sportsbook website, the data feeds will be responsible for telling bettors that on the 24th May at 20:00 2014, it’s going to be an event between Real Madrid and Barcelona and that the event belongs to soccer and the match belongs to Primera Division League.

In order to implement sports data feeds into your sportsbook website, operators don’t just sign up for data with a sports data feeds provider. They also need a piece of software to parse the data (converts an XML document into an XML DOM object - which can then be manipulated with JavaScript), import and publish the data on the sportsbook website.

A very important aspect is that the odds have to get updated in real time. For instance if during a soccer match, a player gets a red card and is eliminated, the odds need to change quickly. If the odds do not change, bettors are going to take advantage of the situation by changing their bets which will lead to big losses for the sportsbook website. The same outcome applies if the data gets corrupted, broken or missing. A sportsbook can go down overnight without the proper data feeds. That is why it’s very important to have the right data feeds and the right software for your sportsbook website.  

This data scrolls thousands of times every minute and for certain popular events, the data scrolls a hundred times every second. During soccer season there are times when over 50 events take place at the same time. The events are going to generate a huge amount of traffic and a huge amount of updates to the odds, live statistics (goals, faults, red cards, yellow card, penalty, corners) and live text commentaries which are very good from a marketing perspective as search engines like unique content. Without the data feeds, hundreds of people would be required to manage the sports markets and the slightest human error could generate huge losses.

Another important feature that sports data feeds provide is the sports data statistics. Certain sport fans like to examine and analyze sports data, read experts commentaries, discuss different theories with friends and examine sports statistics regarding a certain player or team prior to placing a bet. In this case, the decision to place a bet is shaped by a large variety of sports statistics like: team’s history, leagues table, starting line-ups and many more.

Live betting odds update a lot faster than pre-game odds and are more expensive. As an operator you will need a powerful and stable software as well as servers to handle huge amount of data.
In conclusion, choosing the right software and the right sports data feeds is crucial for any online sportsbook website so make sure to choose carefully if you're interested in running your own sportsbook website.