Sportradar Scores NFL Sports Betting Data Distribution Deal, Firm Now Has Partnerships With Big Four Leagues
Posted on: August 12, 2019, 09:47h.
Last updated on: August 12, 2019, 02:23h.
The National Football League (NFL) has reached a deal with Sportradar for the company to distribute the league’s official real-time, play-by-play data to sports betting operators in legal US and international markets.
Sportradar has been the NFL’s exclusive provider of official play-by-play statistics since 2015. But that arrangement only allowed the firm to distribute the content to media outlets – not gambling operators.
That changes this week, as the league is expanding its contract with Sportradar to include sports betting. The modification additionally allows the company to utilize its integrity monitoring product to keep tabs on suspicious betting activity associated with NFL games.
Embracing Sports Betting
The NFL is the richest pro sports league in America, but has been the least supportive of the spread of legal sports betting. In May 2018, the Supreme Court made a historic decision to punt the longstanding federal sports betting ban, on grounds that the law violated the US Constitution.
Nine states have joined Nevada in getting regulated sports betting operational. Eight others have passed laws, and many more are mulling legislation.
As a result, Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Assn. (NBA), and National Hockey League (NHL) – as well as NASCAR and the PGA Tour – and now the NFL, have taken steps to embrace sports betting in an effort to help protect the integrity of their sports, but also grow interest and revenue.
The NFL, however, was the most-cherished partnership for Sportradar. The American Gaming Association (AGA) commissioned Nielsen Sports to study the financial impact legalized sports betting in the US would have on the leagues. The results were astonishing: the NFL stands to profit more than $2.3 billion annually from sportsbooks coming to new states.
“Legal, regulated sports betting will create huge new revenue opportunities for sports leagues, and the NFL could be the biggest winner of all,” Sara Slane, then-AGA senior vice president of public affairs, said at the time.
Nielsen found that sports betting will lead to increased fan engagement, which, in turn, will lead to higher revenues from sponsorships, advertising, and product fees.
The NFL and Sportradar didn’t divulge specifics on their contract expansion. But it presumably came at a massive cost for the data distributor. Sportradar previously reached a six-year, $250 million deal with the NBA to be its official sports betting distributor.
The NFL is an iconic global brand and an iconic global sports property. This is a landmark deal for us,” said David Lampitt, the managing director of sports partnerships for Sportradar, speaking with Bloomberg this week.
Adding the NFL to its portfolio of sports betting clients was a touchdown for Sportradar, but the company was also the odds-on favorite to win the contract. Not only is the firm partnered with the four premiere pro sports leagues in the US, but the NFL is also an investor in Sportradar.
The NFL became an investor in the company in 2015 under its original contract. Sportradar pays the National Football League roughly $5 million per year for its media distribution rights, and also gave the league an undisclosed equity stake.
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