Comcast Corp. said Monday that it had acquired the Philadelphia real-time sports-information service OneTwoSee that tech guys Chris Reynolds and Jason Angelides launched out of a rowhouse at 20th and Brandywine Streets five years ago.
OneTwoSee's insight has been to apply real-time auto traffic analytics seen on TV news to sports, tracking game momentum and player statistics with easy-to-read graphics.
The company, in effect, has brought big data together with multibillion-dollar TV sports.
"It was applying what we were good at in the visualization of real-time data, and product-izing that for sports," said Reynolds, who previously worked with Angelides at the traffic-information website Traffic.com in Wayne. "Sports fans had already been conditioned to follow their favorite teams and fans, and we thought that we could consolidate that experience into an . . . interface."
Several large public technology companies kicked the tires on OneTwoSee over the last year before Reynolds and Angelides reached a deal last week with Comcast, which is seeking to broaden specialized content on its X1 cable box. Terms on the deal, which closed last week, were not disclosed. The start-up employs 16.
OneTwoSee staffers will stay where they are, in a high-rise at 1650 Arch St., adjacent to the Comcast Center, for at least a year. But they eventually are expected to relocate to the new Comcast tower now under construction next to the Comcast Center in Center City, which will lodge the cable and entertainment company's engineers and product-development teams. The new Comcast tower is expected to open in 2018.
Last Tuesday, Comcast human resources personnel were briefing OneTwoSee employees on where they would fit in at the cable and entertainment giant, and on benefits and compensation. Reynolds said that he and Angelides expect to stay with OneTwoSee.
Comcast does not typically acquire data or media start-ups in the Philadelphia area because the region has not been a hotbed for such companies. But OneTwoSee rolled up early successes selling sports-information services for mobile phones, cable TV, and print. Among its clients, in addition to Comcast, are Fox Sports, AOL, Tribune Media, and Canada's Rogers Cable.
OneTwoSee's analytics are a major part of the sports app on the X1 cable box - Comcast has said it is installing 40,000 new X1 boxes a day. As you watch a game or pre-game show with the X1 sports app, OneTwoSee's graphics appear to the right of the TV broadcast. OneTwoSee's real-time information for baseball includes where a batter is most likely to hit a ball and where a pitcher is most likely to pitch for a strikeout.
Comcast has said that its TV subscribers engaged in 95 million X1 sports app sessions in 2015, with 45 percent of those sessions taking place in the fourth quarter as more people learned how to use the app. OneTwoSee supplies graphics and information through the "Extras" tab.
"I realized how core their offering was for X1," said Preston Smalley, a Sunnyvale, Calif., Comcast vice president for sports and X1 apps to whom OneTwoSee executives will report. Smalley added that he wanted to secure a future for OneTwoSee's technology for Comcast and "to see what they could come up with to target the sport demographic."
Over the last four years, the OneTwoSee platform has scaled to extend to multiple sports and platforms, now offering sports information for NASCAR, National Basketball Association, National Football Association, Major League Baseball, and major college basketball and football conferences.
Within several weeks, OneTwoSee will be launched for the National Hockey League and professional soccer. It has also been preparing for a big splash for this summer's Olympics in Brazil, which will be telecast on Comcast-owned NBC. "We have been heads down on the Olympics for the last three months," Reynolds said.
Reynolds, 41, and Angelides, 48, initially self-funded OneTwoSee and worked out of the ground floor of Angelides' rowhouse in the Art Museum area. The two then raised money from friends and family. In a third round of financing, OneTwoSee raised money from "high-net-worth individuals" in the Philadelphia area and the Mission OG investment firm. In all, the company raised $2 million to $4 million. "We are excited," Reynolds said of the deal with Comcast, "to see where we can take this."