Having used iScout’s EFL database for Sky Sport’s coverage of the Summer Transfer Window, Dave Reed offers his opinion on the value of expert statistics in sports broadcasting.
Now in his 9th year at Sky, Dave works as a Deputy Strand Producer for Sky Sports News. A role that involves a multitude of responsibilities, including both presenting and producing.
This Summer, he was involved in spearheading Sky Sports News' brand new segment 'Transfer Talk', often using iScout statistics to discuss deals being made in the EFL.
Speaking to iScout, Reed praised the usefulness of our detailed EFL database:
“What I found to be really helpful was the squad depth charts, particularly for the EFL. You can clearly see which teams need certain positions. It was easily readable in the way it was set out.
"The other bits of information that I found really useful were the age ranges of players provided for each club. We did a whole section on the show about how Nottingham Forest had eight players over 30 and only one player aged 16-21 in their first team squad, which we contrasted to Barnsley's model, where the majority of their squad are under 24."
When asked if there was a feeling of increased scrutiny on the expertise of pundits and broadcasters, Reed had this to say:
“Massively. I think the world of punditry has changed and it has been forced to change because of the rise of social media and, in particular, influencers who have a great depth of understanding about their own club.
"Football audiences have so much more information available to them than ever before. Your average football fan is much more informed now than they were 15 or so years ago, where the only thing widely available was Match of the Day.
"It now sticks out far more when a pundit gives out generic answers like: 'it’s a tough place to go under the lights on a Tuesday.' It’s not enough anymore and the audience want pundits to be more informed, much like the influencers are for their own club.
"This is why people are going to the Youtube accounts that cover their club, because they get a well-informed opinion on their team, and when they don’t see the same level of depth on the likes of Sky and BBC, with generic punditry, that’s when people get annoyed. There’s definitely more scrutiny now.”
Reed acknowledged the role played by iScout owner and founder, Darren Robinson, in the evolution of 'Transfer Talk':
“When Darren started the slot on the show, we used his expertise of how a signing comes together, with his experience and anecdotal evidence of when he’s been involved in the transfer process.
"It evolved over the weeks and he became an expert on who needed what in the Championship, meaning that we could almost predict what different clubs might be doing in the run up to the deadline."