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NEWS 3 September 2019

Genius Sports still open to sublicensing UK football rights, but not with Sportradar, as it stands

By Owain Flanders

Genius Sports is still open to sublicensing betting data rights to the top UK football leagues to third-party suppliers, as long as they meet internal guidelines, which does not currently include Sportradar, Gambling Insider understands.

Sportradar has threatened legal action against Genius in a row over the supplier’s exclusive rights to the English Premier League, English Football League and Scottish Premier League.

Genius acquired the rights from Football DataCo earlier this year, denying any obligation to enter sublicensing agreements with other data suppliers.

When Genius' deal with Football DataCo was announced, a source close to Football DataCo said while it was 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.

Sportradar wants to collect its own data, and claims Genius’ attempts to block competition by entering into the exclusive agreement without sublicensing the rights infringes on UK and EU competition law.

A source close to discussions said Genius’ focus on providing the top UK bookmakers with access to its data before the start of the football season meant sublicensing deals were not possible.

Genius is open to discussion with third-party suppliers, as long as they meet internal guidelines relating to the unofficial acquisition of data, most notably in not collecting sports data from within stadiums in breach of ticket conditions.

Sportradar says it is willing to make a sublicensing deal with Genius for a fair access fee, but Genius is declining to engage in any discussions to increase its own market share.

The supplier believes Genius’ internal guidelines are hypocritical due to the supplier’s collection of unofficial data through TV and radio.

A spokesperson for Sportradar told Gambling Insider: "Genius has refused to provide commercial terms, despite Sportradar's repeated requests. If we had a sublicense made available to Sportradar, we wouldn't be scouting in the stadiums in the first place."

While there is a common understanding among data suppliers that unofficial data is collected across several competitions, Genius believes it is only data collected from within stadiums that infringes on its official rights.

Gambling Insider understands no official offer has been made by Sportradar for the sublicensing rights, and despite being open to deals with other suppliers, there are no clear signs Genius has had discussions with any other data suppliers.

Although threats have been made, it is not clear whether Sportradar will follow through with legal action over the dispute.

Football DataCo has been contacted for comment.

RELATED TAGS: Legal & Regulatory | Sports Betting
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