Unimpressed with the new Golden State Warriors roster? Shh … don’t say it out loud. The team may be listening. A lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco this week claims the team’s free app secretly uses the microphones on fans’ smartphones to listen to and record their conversations. The app, which lets fans view live scores and share posts from Warriors games on social media, asks for permission to access fans’ microphones, but doesn’t disclose the extent that it listens in, according to the suit, which was reported by The Recorder on Tuesday. “Even more disconcerting,” the lawyers wrote, “the app turns on the microphone (listening and recording) any time the app is running. No mater if a consumer is actively using the app or if it is merely running in the background: the app is listening.”
Sportradar AG, a sports data company whose clients include global bookmakers, last year took on three high-profile investors with one thing in common: All own NBA teams. The Swiss company hoped Mark Cuban, Michael Jordan and Ted Leonsis could help with its expansion into the U.S., where sports betting — if legalized — could be a multi-billion-dollar industry. So far, it seems to be working. Sportradar and data analytics firm Second Spectrum are said to be close to a six-year, $250 million contract with the NBA, according to people familiar with the negotiations.
The contract covers an array of rights that includes selling official league data to betting houses, data analytics to teams and the development of a streaming product, said the people, who asked for anonymity because the agreement hasn’t been signed. Spokesmen for Sportradar and for the NBA declined to comment. Leonsis, whose private equity firm Revolution Growth led the owners’ $44 million investment in Sportradar, also declined to comment. This will make Sportradar the official data partner for three of the four major U.S. sports leagues, including the National Hockey League and National Football League, which is also an investor. Stats Inc. has Major League Baseball’s data contract.