MLB is partnering with Zoom to offer fans a more “transparent” replay review process

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Major League Baseball and Zoom announced Thursday a partnership that will allow fans to see more of the MLB replay process on select broadcasts in the upcoming 2023 season. MLB says its goal is to “create a more transparent and engaging review process.”

From the press release:

The 2022 MLB season had more than 1,400 replay reviews. Historically, the league’s retest relied on disparate technology and audio-only communication with on-pitch referees, resulting in fans being disconnected from the decision-making process.

Beginning with the 2023 season, the Crew Chief, the longest-serving member of the four-person referee crew, will connect to the Zoom Replay Operations Center via Zoom’s contact center solution during each retest. During nationwide broadcasts on MLB Network and Apple TV+, fans will see the Zoom Replay Operations Center live in action during replays and hear from a senior rules analyst who will discuss the replays with the broadcast team. MLB’s goal with this new facility is to create a more transparent and engaging review process.

Hopefully this feature will roll out to every single show over the years, but this is a great start. Rather than broadcasters speculating on what review officials might discuss during the review, fans are getting more detail about the thought process of picking up or maintaining calls on the field.

“We’re always looking for innovative ways to leverage best-in-class technology to enhance the MLB experience and provide more for our fans,” said Chris Marinak, MLB’s chief operations and strategy officer. ‚ÄúPartnering with Zoom, an industry leader that has reinvented the way we connect, was a natural next step for us. We’re excited to integrate the Zoom Contact Center and other Zoom platform technologies into our Gameday operations and continue to modernize the experience in safe, reliable and innovative ways.”

There’s a lot more to the partnership, but from a fan perspective, the most important part of the deal is getting into the verification process. Perhaps for the first time, I look forward to seeing a review next season.

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