Social Web Startup Signs Deal with AP to Distribute Sports Scores

ScoreStream, a San Diego area startup providing a crowdsourced social media platform for reporting high school sports scores, said Thursday it has agreed to distribute high school game scores under a new collaboration agreement with The Associated Press.

Under their agreement, this fall ScoreStream will begin distributing and publishing high school football scores across 42 states through the AP and other media networks (including ScoreStream’s own website). ScoreStream said it also will report high school basketball scores for both boys and girls in 33 states.

The Associated Press, which shares news with member newspapers, Web outlets, and broadcasters around the world, already collects high school sports scores throughout the United States, ScoreStream co-founder and CEO Derrick Oien said Thursday. “The real driver for them was that they realized we had pretty much the same scores they had, but we were getting them more quickly,” Oien said. He added, “This has been in the works for a long time.”

Fans at a game can use ScoreStream’s Web platform to report local game scores, and the AP and ScoreStream will both verify the information before publication, according to a statement.

When ScoreStream started in 2012, Oien said prospective media partners were skeptical that crowdsourcing would be an effective way to cover local sports. But the ScoreStream founders said both Wikipedia and Waze already had demonstrated that crowd-sourcing could work for online media companies.

ScoreStream has struck similar partnerships with USA Today and the Sinclair Broadcast Group. The company says it now works with almost every major television, radio, and newspaper group in the country, and provides coverage of more than 10,000 games a week.

Earlier this week, ScoreStream announced a similar deal to deliver high school sports scores throughout the country over the radio through iHeartMedia’s “Total Traffic & Weather Network” division.

While ScoreStream initially pursued a strategy that was focused on high school sports, Oien said the company has been gaining traction in youth sports leagues, lower division colleges (junior colleges, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics), and semi-pro sports. Roughly half of the company’s mobile traffic this summer has consisted of international users reporting their local sports scores, Oien said.

ScoreStream, selected as a Xconomy San Diego Tech Startup to Watch in 2016, has 11 employees and has raised $3.1 million in venture capital from Sinclair Broadcasting Group, Avalon Ventures, NEA, and individual investors, Oien said.

The company generates revenue from content and data licensing, and some advertising. “We didn’t quite get to six figures in revenue last year, but we will this year,”Oien added. “In fact, we already have.”

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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