Sports

Comcast launches accelerator for sports start-ups that could give it a leg up on new technology

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Key Points
  • Comcast is launching a new accelerator for sports start-ups called SportsTech.
  • It gives the cable giant and its partners the opportunity to acquire or pilot new technology and to get an early look at sports-tech trends.
  • Companies that are selected will receive $50,000 in investment capital and $1.7 million total in perks.
Signage is displayed in the window of a Comcast Corp. Xfinity store in King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
Charles Mostoller | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Comcast said Tuesday it is launching a new accelerator for start-ups that could help it leverage a multibillion dollar market opportunity in sports.

The cable giant said Tuesday its rationale for the venture, called SportsTech, includes the opportunity to acquire or test new technology and to get an early look at new sports-tech trends. The company sees growth in areas like legalized sports betting and smart stadiums, which are expected to reach $287 billion by 2021 and $12.5 billion by 2023, respectively.

"The demand for sports technology across the globe has never been greater, yet most sports startups don't have access to the resources they need to succeed nor an ability to develop relationships with the right people inside the industry," Jenna Kurath, Comcast Cable's vice president of start-up partner development, said in a statement.

Partnering with Boomtown, an accelerator operator based in Colorado, Comcast will select 10 start-ups that identify as best matches for its sports tech categories, which include fantasy and sports betting, esports, and fan/player engagement. Companies that are selected will receive $50,000 of investment capital and $1.7 million total in perks. They will also attend a 12-week course at Comcast Cable's Central Division headquarters in Atlanta.

In return, the start-ups will provide a minimum of 6% equity for the capital and resources they receive through SportsTech to Comcast and Boomtown.

The accelerator will be the third of its kind for Comcast, who started LIFT Labs in Philadelphia and The Farm, which is also in Atlanta and run by Boomtown. Comcast has six other partners on SportsTech, including NASCAR, USA Swimming and U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

Start-ups can submit applications for the program until May 15, with officials estimating the selection process will take two months before courses begin in August.

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC and NBC Sports.