Genius Sports Files Case Against Sportradar Over Data Conflict

According to a report by Sportico, Genius Sports has filed a complaint against rival provider Sportradar in the UK High Court over the continuing legal conflict between the data firms.

In May 2019, in a deal beginning with the 2019/20 season, the Genius Sports subsidiary was named by Football DataCo (FDC) as the ‘exclusive live data provider’ for the English Premier League (EPL), English Football League (EFL) and Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).

Live match data rights

Under the terms of the deal, BetGenius, the sports betting subsidiary of the firm, won the right to gather live match data from over 4,000 UK football fixtures, to be sold to different bookmakers worldwide.

In addition, Genius Sports refused access from competing data firms such as Sportradar to ‘data journalists’ or data scouts, taking a ‘zero tolerance policy’. According to the filing submitted on 5 February, however, the latter violated the agreement of Genius Sports by sending scouts to games across the three leagues.

Legal proceedings

Sportradar launched legal proceedings against Genius Sports in March last year, alleging that the relationship between the latter and the Premier League, EFL and SPFL was ‘anti-competitive’ and gave Genius a ‘super-dominant position’ in the collection of sports data.

Later in December, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) ruled that the data rights and competition violation claim must serve as the lead judiciary.

‘Anti-competitive arrangement’

Sportradar dismissed the argument of Genius Sports’ litigation in the comment made to Sportico by adding: “Sportradar’s position has always been that private law rights cannot be relied upon to give effect to an anti-competitive arrangement.”

The response of Genius Sports General Counsel Tom Russell to the same publication, however, was that his firm only participates in scouting that respects the rights of others. “We respect sports’ control over their events,” he said. “We don’t enter stadia where others have rights.”

Judge Sir Peter Roth indicated that the cases of both Genius and FDC could be brought before the High Court if the initial argument for competition tilts in favour of the two businesses, but also proposed that the same judge handle both cases.

Sports knowledge in the betting and gaming industry is becoming an increasingly important asset. Both Sportradar and Genius Sports have signed nine-figure deals with competitions such as the Premier League, as well as the National Football League (NFL) and National Hockey League (NHL) American sports divisions (NHL).