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NEWS 10 May 2019

Genius Sports open to sublicensing Premier League betting data rights

By David Cook

Perform Group, Sportradar and other data suppliers could still sublicense betting data rights to the English Premier League, English Football League and Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) from Genius Sports from next season, Gambling Insider understands.

Genius Sports announced an exclusive, global deal for the rights on Thursday, and the supplier said while it could enter sublicensing discussions, it is not obliged to do so.

Mark Locke, Genius Sports CEO, told Gambling Insider: "There is no requirement for us to sublicense the rights, but we are willing to have conversations with anyone who wants to have a conversation with us. Our aim is to distribute the data as widely as we possibly can.

"I won't rule anything out, and I'm always happy to pick up the phone, but there is no obligation whatsoever for us to do a deal."

Genius Sports has bought the rights from Football DataCo, a joint venture between the Premier League and Football League, which can sell the SPFL rights through an agency agreement.

Gambling Insider understands the agreement will run for five seasons, from 2019-20 to 2023-24.

A source close to Football DataCo said while it is not able to add a sublicensing requirement into the deal, its aim is to have its data distributed as widely as possible to drive out the unofficial data market.

Perform holds the rights in the current cycle, from 2016-17 to 2018-19, and held the rights in the previous cycle, from 2013-14 to 2015-16. Perform has sublicensed the rights to Genius Sports in the current cycle.

Perform made a bid for the rights in the upcoming cycle, and Sportradar is also said to have been part of the process.

Discussions over a sublicensing deal are yet to take place, and should the rights be sublicensed, each betting operator would have the power to decide which licensed supplier it can purchase the data from.

Andrew Ashenden, Perform CCO, told Gambling Insider: "It's important to note the tender process that all the data suppliers entered into was one where the appointed party would be required to sublicense the rights to other data distributors.

"That's the basis under which we tendered. We'll anticipate a conversation about obtaining a sublicense. We expect to have that conversation very quickly."

A source close to negotiations said there was an understanding among prospective bidders throughout the process that the data would be available for sublicensing.

 

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