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NFL and Genius Sports strike “US$120m a year” data distribution deal

UK-based operator replaces Sportradar as league's exclusive official data partner.

6 April 2021 Sam Carp
  • Deal gives NFL equity stake in Genius Sports, according to SBJ
  • UK-based company will distribute NFL’s real-time stats and official sports betting data to media companies and sportsbooks in the US and overseas
  • Pair will also develop a technology hub to enhance league’s data feeds and data products

The National Football League (NFL) has announced that Genius Sports is replacing Sportradar as its exclusive official data partner.

The multi-year deal means the UK-based data and technology specialist will exclusively distribute real-time play-by-play statistics, proprietary Next Gen Stats data and the league’s official sports betting data feed to media companies and sportsbooks both in the US and overseas.

Under the agreement, the pair will also develop a jointly governed technology hub to enhance the NFL’s data feeds, data products and fan engagement offerings.

The contract is worth some US$120 million annually over six years, according to Sports Business Journal (SBJ), which added that half of the amount will be paid through equity in Genius Sports.

CNBC reported in March that the NFL was seeking more than US$100 million a year from its new data deal. If the reported figures for the new agreement with Genius are correct, it marks a significant uplift on the league’s previous deal with Sportradar, which SBJ reports was worth US$20 million annually and also saw the NFL take equity in the company.

Another element of the partnership with Genius Sports gives the company the right to distribute live audiovisual game feeds to sportsbooks in international markets, while it will also represent the NFL’s legalised sports betting advertising inventory across the league’s owned and operated digital platforms domestically and internationally. 

In addition, Genius Sports will provide its suite of integrity services to monitor betting across all NFL games and tentpole events, while the league and its teams will also have access to the company’s integrity education programmes. 

“Genius is proud and delighted to partner exclusively with the NFL to establish a new era of digital fan engagement for professional sports leagues everywhere,” said Mark Locke, chief executive of Genius Sports. “Our technology leads the world in the convergence of official data, betting, streaming, and digital media and we are excited to bring our unique capabilities to the world’s preeminent sports league.”

The deal comes hot on the heels of the NFL’s new long-term domestic broadcast rights agreements with CBS, ESPN/ABC, Fox, NBC and Amazon, which are reportedly worth more than US$100 billion in total.

It also continues a busy period for Genius, which last year agreed a deal to go public through a US$1.5 billion merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) dMY Technology Group II.

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