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EXCLUSIVE: Sportradar set to secure exclusive Copa Libertadores betting rights

(Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)

Sportradar is close to finalising a deal to become the exclusive distributor of global betting video and fastpath data rights to the Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana and Recopa Sudamericana, SportBusiness understands.

The Switzerland-based media and betting technology company has emerged as the winning bidder in a tender for betting rights to South America’s continental club football competitions. Should an agreement be finalised, the deal will run for four years from 2023 to 2026.

Sportradar’s winning bid is poised to unseat rival betting data company Stats Perform, which holds the rights in the current four-year cycle from 2019 to 2022.

Sportradar’s deal would include betting video rights in all territories including South America, where betting operators will be able to access live matches alongside rights-holding broadcasters and streaming platforms.

Though the deal is yet to be signed by either Sportradar or Conmebol, South American football’s governing body, sources say the agreement is expected to be a formality as Sportradar’s winning bid comfortably exceeded the next highest offer. Detailed information on Sportradar’s financial commitment and the level of rival bids will be published in a SportBusiness Media analysis on Monday.

Global commercial rights to the Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana and Recopa Sudamericana are held by the FC Diez Media entity, which is wholly-owned by agency IMG. As IMG’s sports betting and data services company IMG Arena wanted to take part in the tender as a bidder, the sales process was managed by Conmebol’s preferred professional services firm, EY.

EY has managed several commercial rights sales processes for Conmebol, including both agency RFPs for global commercial rights to Conmebol’s club competitions. It has also run subsequent processes on behalf of FC Diez Media to prevent conflicts of interest.

One such example was a tender for media rights in South America to the Copa Sudamericana during the current 2019-22 cycle. During this tender, FC Diez Media was jointly owned by IMG and multi-platform broadcaster DAZN Group, the latter of which wanted to bid for the rights. DAZN was beaten to Copa Sudamericana rights in South America by pay-television operator DirecTV.

On that occasion and in the most recent example, companies with ownership stakes in FC Diez Media have not emerged as winners from EY-operated tenders, which sources say underlines the independence of the processes.

While Stats Perform looks to have lost out on retaining the rights, the company has recently enjoyed success in retaining exclusive global betting video and data rights to Spain’s LaLiga for another five seasons, from 2023-24 to 2027-28. The deal was exclusively revealed by SportBusiness in August.

The global betting rights sector has been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the sports industry, spearheaded by the big four betting services companies: Sportradar, Genius Sports, Stats Perform and IMG Arena. The sector now has five major players: last month, agency Infront officially announced its entry to the space.