The NFL now finally appears to be embracing the idea of legal sports betting. While the rest of the major sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NHL, and PGA) have been making partnerships with noted sports betting related companies, the NFL has taken a back seat. Until now. Earlier this week the NFL extended a deal with Sportradar to allow for the company to exclusively distribute official league data to sportsbook where sports betting is legal.
More Details on The Deal
The NFL and Sportradar have been working together for four years now and the NFL even has an equity stake in the company. None of the specifics of the deal have been released just yet. However, based on the fact that Sportradar completed a six-year deal with the NBA for $250 million (similar to this deal with the NFL), it is a safe bet that this one will be significantly higher in terms of money.
Sportradar will also be given the right to distribute live-game video to oversees sportsbooks. The streams will also feature live betting odds. Sportradar will also help monitor the integrity of NFL betting. They will do this by looking for and tracking suspicious betting activities in an effort to detect and potential fraud. This was almost certainly a big selling point for the NFL. In past years, the NFL has fought to stop the expansion of legal sports betting for the fear of compromised integrity.
What is Sportradar?
Sportradar (originally names Market Monitor) started in 2000 in Norway (now headquartered in Switzerland) and is a company that collects and analyzes sports data. They provide services to bookmakers, sports leagues, and media companies. Sportradar works with over 400 bookmakers, including big-name sports betting companies like DraftKings, William Hill, and Paddy Power Betfair. Alongside the NFL, Sportradar is also partnered up with the MLB, NBA, NHL, and NASCAR. Notable investors in Sportradar include Michael Jordan and Mark Cuban. According to Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System, since 2009, more than 2,000 events have been tagged as likely to have been manipulated.
Sportradar also creates odds for games. They use the live data that they have the rights to through their partnerships with sports leagues to help calculate these odds. The odds are then sold to bookmakers that are unable to calculate their own odds in real-time. This is especially useful for live-betting.
Future of Sports Betting and Pro Leagues
The NFL is by far the biggest sports in the United States for betting. Of all of the major sports leagues, the NFL stands to gain the most during the current sports-betting boom sweeping the country. More states are legalizing sports betting each year since the 2018 PASPA ruling. The industry is only getting bigger, and now with all of the major sports leagues embracing it, sports betting is only going to get better for bettors. Deals like this one between the NFL and Sportradar will help improve things like live-betting by increasing line movement speeds to real-time, giving bettors those crucial extra seconds to place their bets before the next play.