Under the multi-year extensions, the two competitors will remain the official gatekeepers of NBA and WNBA data for U.S. betting houses. Any operator looking to offer odds using the league’s official data must partner first with either Sportradar or Genius Sports.
Though financial terms of the extensions weren’t disclosed, these deals tend to be among the more expensive in sports betting. Bidding on the NHL’s official data, which included exclusive rights domestically and internationally, passed $25 million per year before the league chose Sportradar as its supplier, according to sources.
The deals mostly hinge on in-game data, which can be critical for offering odds on micro moments, such as “Will this free-throw go in?” or “Will the next field goal be a three-pointer or a two-pointer?” To take bets like that, a sportsbook needs the fastest data possible, and the NBA has worked to make its official feed the quickest and most reliable one available.
That helps it share in some of the billions that are wagered on NBA games each year. The league originally pushed for state legislators to require sportsbook share a small cut of every wager with the league. While that “integrity fee” has been a hard sell, the league has successfully monetized its data. Not only does the NBA sell rights to Sportradar and Genius Sports, it also inks commercial deals with operators before they work with either firm. The NBA now has sports betting partnerships with more than 20 sports books.
“The U.S. sports betting industry has recognized the value of official data, particularly for in-play betting,” said Scott Kaufman-Ross, the NBA’s head of fantasy and gaming. “These extensions will ensure operators continue to have access to our real-time feed as sports betting rolls out throughout the U.S.”
Sports leagues continue to vary in their approach to sports betting. Both the NBA and MLB have multiple data providers. The NFL, on the other hand, has an exclusive global deal with Sportradar.
The news comes just three days after Genius said it was going public through a deal with blank check firm dMY Technology Acquisition II. The $1.5 billion transaction is expected to close in the early part of next year.
Sportradar’s investors include a trio of NBA owners—Mark Cuban, Ted Leonsis and Michael Jordan. The firm is also considering going public through acquisition, which Sportico reported back in July. The company has a wide-ranging relationship with the NBA, including some overseas rights, and recently had to write down $42 million from one of those contracts.