ATP Approaching $1 Billion Betting Streaming Deal with IMG
IMG is nearing an agreement with the ATP World Tour for a betting streaming and data rights deal worth $1 billion over the next 10 years.
The deal will be covering the ATP World Masters 1000, World Touch 500, and a select 250 series events. First reported by SportBusiness Media, the deal hasn’t been struck yet, but would be surprising given the data rights market is globally dominated by Perform Content, Sportradar, and Genius Sports.
About Tennis Data Bidding Process
The other major streaming rights companies aren’t particularly pleased with the bidding process the ATP put forward, as the deal was created in the dark and without knowledge of the other companies.
An unnamed company is reportedly forming an official complaint, but there’s been no outright from any company yet, nor has there been any comment from the ATP or IMG. Sportradar signed a five-year deal with the ITF in 2015 to extend the partnership between the two companies.
The ATP oversees the ATP World Tour, the biggest non-Grand Slam competitions in the tennis world. They also operate the rankings system that most people consider the definitive system in the world of men’s tennis (for the women, the WTP runs the world rankings).
If the deal is struck, the ATP and ITF will be on different systems, which could cause some interesting changes between ATP matches and the ITF-operated Grand Slam tournaments.
Importance of Tennis Data Companies
The importance of a good data partner became clear very soon after the ITF signed their deal with Sportradar when a massive investigation took place and unveiled an extensive ring of match-fixing across many different levels of play.
The investigation is still ongoing, with arrests taking place as recently as 2019. Spanish police named 28 players back in January as part of the match-fixing ring. Recently, Feliciano Lopez was named in a match-fixing allegation regarding a doubles match in the 2017 Wimbledon tournament.
The industry leaders in sports data will be hoping that IMG will keep up with any other questionable matches or betting trends, as the ATP did not open the process for open bidding, thus no counter-offers were made.
It’ll be worth keeping an eye on how the deal eventually shakes out, and if IMG can keep a hold of the deal that would be the biggest in tennis history. If anything, Sportradar will likely have something to say because it already runs the data information for the Grand Slam tournaments.
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