Major League Baseball and Zoom announced a partnership on Thursday that will allow fans to see more of MLB's 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:
In the 2022 MLB season, there were more than 1,400 replay reviews. Historically, the league's replay review was reliant on disparate technology and audio-only communication with umpires on the field, resulting in fans being disconnected from the decision-making process.
Beginning with the 2023 Season, the Crew Chief, the most senior member of the four-man umpire crew, will connect to the Zoom Replay Operations Center using Zoom's Contact Center solution during any replay review. During national broadcasts on MLB Network and Apple TV+, fans will also see the Zoom Replay Operations Center in action live during replay reviews and hear from an expert rules analyst who will discuss replay reviews with the broadcast team. MLB's goal with this new setup is to create a more transparent and engaging review process.
Hopefully as the years pass by, this feature will be available for every single broadcast, but this is a great start. Instead of the broadcasters speculating what the review officials might be discussing during the review, fans will get more details on the thought process of overturning or upholding calls on the field.
"We are always looking for innovative ways to leverage best-in-class technology to advance the MLB experience and deliver more to our fans," MLB Chief Operations and Strategy Officer Chris Marinak said. "Partnering with Zoom, a category leader that reinvented the way we connect, was a natural next step for us. We are excited to integrate Zoom Contact Center and other Zoom platform technology into our gameday operations and continue to modernize experiences in a secure, reliable, and innovative way."
There's a lot more to the partnership, but getting to look in on the review process is the most significant part of the deal from a fan perspective. For possibly the first time, I'll be excited to see a review this coming season.