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How Much Does Sport Data Cost?

By: Edward Fleet

Sports data is now an intrinsic part of sports coverage for sports fans worldwide. From live scores and play-by-play updates to player stats and standings, fixtures and predictions, ratings and analytics and much more besides, the products and experiences made possible with the right data and interesting ideas are endless.

If you’re someone with an idea for a sports app or product, you may be wondering about the cost of sports data and how to optimise its usage. As a long-time member of the team here at Stats Perform, I have worked with some of the world’s biggest broadcasters, apps, clubs and federations, and have written this article to try to demystify the process of buying data, explore the factors that influence the cost and provide valuable insights for those seeking to invest in it.

The first step is appreciating that sports data is a strategic asset that can provide your product with a competitive edge in various domains. High quality sports data empowers more informed decisions, more accurate predictions, more reliable and entertaining customer experiences, more opportunities for sponsorship, ticket and merchandise sales, and better quality stories. Harnessing the power of high quality data has seen many sports businesses unlock new opportunities for growth and better engage their global fanbases.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Sports Data

The cost of sports data can vary considerably, and depends on factors including quality, depth, breadth and speed, as well user requirements and end-usage.

  1. Data Source and Provider: The source and provider of sports data significantly impact its cost. The extensive coverage and reliablility of established data providers like Stats Perform’s Opta and RunningBall data comes from decades of consistently accurate and uniform data collection by teams of highly trained, highly experienced and highly supported experts, using the latest technology and tools. Other providers may have limited data offerings and less rigid quality measures and less trusted brands. Cheaper data from less established providers can often be found lacking in the long term. Cheaper providers often lack the depth, breadth, quality, reliability and customer service capabilities of the larger players in the market.
  2. Data Depth and Granularity: The level of detail and granularity in sports data can vary widely. Basic statistics come at a lower cost, while more sophisticated data, such as player tracking, advanced analytics, and predictive data, will require a higher investment.
  3. Data Frequency and Updates: Real-time or near-real-time data feeds are typically more expensive than static or delayed data. It is more complex to collect live data accurately and quickly and requires additional levels of real-time support and monitoring to ensure it can be trusted. Delivering as well as collecting data in real-time also uses more sophisticated systems and platforms that have to be able to handle huge loads and spikes. You won’t see this as a customer because everything is behind the scenes – you just see the right data coming through at the right time, hassle-free. The frequency and speed at which data is updated influence its value and pricing; the faster and higher quality the data, the higher the cost.

Pricing Models for Sports Data

  1. Subscription-Based Models: Subscription-based pricing models are where users pay a recurring fee for access to sports data services. Subscription plans may differ based on the level of data access, features, history, number of services and length of contract. Longer contracts covering more competitions from more sports may benefit from a discount.
  2. Pay-Per-Use Models: Alternatively, pay-per-use models allow users to purchase data on-demand or based on specific requirements. For example, you could purchase Premier League data for just one season or even one match. This model can be cost-effective for those who require data on a limited basis or perhaps have a one-time campaign they would like to run.

Tips for Cost-Effective Sports Data Acquisition

  1. Define Your Data Needs: Try to clearly identify the specific data requirements for your organisation or project. By understanding your needs, you can focus on acquiring the most relevant and cost-effective data. An expert sales or customer success representative can help you find the right data more effectively if they have a clear understanding of your goals.
  2. Research and Compare Providers: Conduct thorough research to identify reputable sports data providers. Consider who else is using their services and consume them yourself to put yourself in your prospective users’ shoes. Compare their offerings, pricing models, data quality, and customer reviews to make an informed decision.
  3. Choose a One-Stop Provider: Choose a provider that will be able to accommodate your requirements as you grow and scale up. Find a provider who has the breadth and depth of data you might need in future to keep integrations and support as simple as possible.
  4. Evaluate Data Quality and Reliability: Prioritise data quality and reliability over cost alone. Inaccurate or unreliable data can lead to flawed analysis or a lack of trust from fans. Ensure the provider has a track record of delivering accurate and timely data.


Sport data is a valuable asset that can drive success and innovation. Investing in high-quality and relevant data is key for organisations seeking to gain a competitive edge. By understanding the factors influencing the cost of sports data, exploring various pricing models, and following cost-effective acquisition strategies, sports teams, media companies, and enthusiasts can leverage data to optimise performance, enhance fan engagement, and make data-driven decisions that propel them towards success. If you would like to learn more about Opta data and the data and services we provide then feel free to check out our interactive product finder and find the right products for you.