It seems like only yesterday when the NFL was claiming with a straight face–and under oath, no less–that sports betting had nothing to do with the popularity of the league. Fast forward to 2019 and the National Football League is looking to get their share of the growing US betting market. Fortunately, they’ve apparently given up on the lunacy of ‘integrity fees’ and instead are focusing on licensing their data.
As part of that plan, the NFL has expanded their partnership with Sportradar to distribute official league data to a variety of end users including the sports betting industry:
“Since 2015, Sportradar has been the NFL’s exclusive distributor of official play-by-play statistics, as well as the NFL’s proprietary Next Gen Stats (NGS) player tracking data to media outlets. The original partnership included the creation of Sportradar’s cutting-edge research platform, Radar360, which is used by the NFL, its member clubs, and media outlets. These aspects of the partnership will continue in the new agreement.”
“The renewal significantly expands upon the existing partnership, including exclusive distribution of real-time official play-by-play data and NGS data to sports betting operators in the U.S. and internationally where sports betting is legal and regulated. Official licensed data will improve the speed and accuracy of NFL data and enhance protections for consumers. In addition, Sportradar will now have the right to distribute live audio-visual (AV) game feeds to sportsbooks in select international markets.”
Hans Schroeder, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, NFL Media, had this to say about the deal with Sportradar:
“Sportradar has been an excellent partner the last four years and has provided the league, our teams, and media marketplace with innovative data products. We look forward to working with Sportradar to deliver fast, accurate official league data that will innovate and improve experiences for our fans across platforms.”
Carsten Koerl, Chief Executive Officer of Sportradar, gave his thoughts:
“We are thrilled to become NFL’s exclusive data distribution partner, undoubtedly one of the most important partnerships in Sportradar’s history. We are confident we will maximize our strong partnership with the NFL and deliver ground-breaking products across the gaming, fantasy and the media worlds. As the unequivocal global leader in sports data, we are ideally positioned to support the NFL in providing innovative products to enhance the way fans experience the game and help maintain the continued integrity of the NFL competition.”
Not sure that the market for ‘official league data’ is as big as the various sports leagues are thinking. Can’t blame the NFL for trying to get a piece of the action.