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Sportradar and Genius Sports embroiled in data dispute

Sports and betting-related services company Sportradar is threatening legal action against rival firm Genius Sports over a dispute concerning the latter’s exclusive ability to gather data from all competitions organised by the Premier League, English Football League (EFL) and Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).

In May, Genius Sports hailed a “transformational” multi-year deal with Football DataCo, the data rights-holder of the Premier League, EFL and SPFL, to become its official supplier of live data to the global sports betting sector.

Through Betgenius, Genius’ sports betting division, the group is able to capture official live game data in-stadia at over 4,000 fixtures per season, and distribute it to hundreds of licensed sportsbook operators around the world.

Genius replaced Perform Group in the role, commencing from the 2019-20 season, but Sportradar has taken issue over the exclusivity of the partnership, claiming the deal is anti-competitive. A letter before action, the details of which have been reported by The Sunday Times newspaper, also accuses Genius Sports and Football DataCo of “aggressively targeting” any other party seeking to collect live match data in stadiums.

The terms of Genius Sports’ partnership with Football DataCo means that any other partner is required to secure a sublicensing agreement from the former before being officially permitted to provide data from UK football stadia.

Sportradar claims it is prepared to pay a fair access fee to do so, but states the current arrangements “infringe UK and EU competition law” and that “there will be no competition on price, product choice, speed, accuracy, reliability and innovation”.

Sportradar and Genius Sports have each accused the other of using unlicensed data scouts to collect statistics from stadia of leagues in which their rival holds an official partnership.

A source close to Genius Sports told The Sunday Times: “The activity of these unauthorised collectors drains money away from sport without providing anything in return…Genius Sports is a partner to sports and strongly believes in their right to protect their intellectual property and receive a fair financial return from betting on their competitions.”