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IMG Arena signs up first client for Golf Event Centre

The US-based Scientific Games, the gambling products and services company, has become the first platform to sign up for IMG Arena’s new golf data and live streaming service for bookmakers.

SG Digital, a division of Scientific Games, will incorporate IMG Arena’s ‘Golf Event Centre’ from January 2020 on its OpenSports offering.

SG Digital becomes the first platform partner of a service that will offer detailed shot-by-shot data, live streaming and interactive course visualisations from the PGA Tour and European Tour. IMG Arena’s golf trading feed will also be taken by SG Digital as part of the wide-ranging agreement that also includes badminton and tennis data services.

IMG Arena this month expanded its scoring data distribution agreement with the PGA Tour to include North America. IMG and the PGA Tour initially announced a long-term agreement 10 months ago that allowed the then renamed IMG Arena to exclusively distribute scoring data to sports media companies, news outlets and betting operators around the world.

Keith O’Loughlin, SG Digital’s senior vice-president, sportsbook, said today (Monday): “IMG Arena has created a betting proposition for golf that befits its position as one of the world’s most popular global sports. The Golf Event Centre brings a new level of immersion and engagement that will positively shake up the live betting experience and the industry as a whole.”

Freddie Longe, senior vice-president, at IMG Arena, remarked: “Incorporating our official content within the OpenSports ecosystem will provide many of our major UK, European and US sportsbook customers with seamless access to our full suite of products, including the Golf Event Centre. With its unique set of interactive features, we believe it will quickly become an indispensable part of the global sports betting ecosystem.”

In addition, SG Digital has signed up to IMG Arena’s Alliance programme, allowing operators to access “a full suite of official data and live streaming services”.

The expansion of the work with the PGA Tour now allows IMG Arena to distribute the Tour’s established ‘ShotLink’ data collection and analysis offering to domestic betting operators as the US market continues to open up. The ShotLink data is collected by walking scorers, greenside cameras and lasers.

IMG followed up its initial PGA Tour agreement by agreeing a deal with the European Tour for the collection, distribution and licensing of its official scoring data on a worldwide basis.
In a first for the sport, IMG Arena is distributing live streaming coverage of golf to betting operators.

Golf bodies had been unique among major sports rights-holders by not selling their betting streaming rights to third parties given that the host broadcast of golf does not always reflect the action in real time. The production will move from hole to hole and is often curated so that viewers can catch up on moments that are not actually being aired as they happen.

Upon initially signing up with the PGA Tour, IMG Arena developed plans to offer live streaming to bookmakers from selected par-three holes and developed new shot outcome bets in the process.