Sportradar and Genius Sports settle divisive Premier League data collection dispute out of court

October 12 – The bitter on-going litigation between Sportradar and Genius Sports has been resolved after the case was adjourned when it looked like the two sides could find an out-of-court settlement.

The row was over the collection of match data that both companies sell to their betting business clients.

Genius Sports holds an exclusive license from FootballDataCo (FDC) to collect data from English Premier League, the EFL and Scottish Premier League matches and re-sell that data.

Sportradar, who had been denied a license to collect data or access to the data argued that this is a breach of anti-trust rules and the case was being heard in the UK competition courts. Effectively their argument was that FDC had created a monopoly and that with Genius Sports was manipulating the market.

Sportradar had been buying tickets and sending their own scouts to matches who collected data sitting amongst fans. Genius Sports ratcheted the case up into the criminal courts, taking criminal action against ticketed individuals they ‘caught’ collecting match data from their stadium seats – they even went as far as to employ ‘spotters’ to hunt them down. Genius Sports argued that the Sportradar scouts are trespassing.

The settlement of the litigation means that FDC can continue to license and market FDC data and that “Genius Sports shall maintain the exclusive right to provide low latency Official FDC betting data rights through 2024.”

‘Low latency’ refers to the fast feed of information that is fed to bookmakers enabling them to open and close betting markets.

Sportradar does not have access to the fast feed, but can now buy a feed from Genius Sports, being marketed as the ‘Official FDC Secondary Feed’.

The two tiers of feeds of course means different price levels with only the bigger bookmakers able to afford the faster feed from Genius Sports. The smaller bookmakers have to settle for the slower feed and all the potential betting market manipulation that could arise from that. Ultimately that could impact sports betters and the odds available to them.

For now hostilities have been ceased. But for how long remains to be seen. FDC’s license with Genius  Sports runs out within two years and they will have to issue a new tender for data collection before then. The battle may be over but the war probably isn’t.

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