DraftKings Partner With MLB in Baseball Data Feed Deal

  • DraftKings will now be one of only two official MLB sportsbook partners
  • The partnership will give the operator access to live data feeds from MLB games
  • Data is currently accessible by all sportsbooks, but will soon be restricted to partners only
baseball player holding bat on pitch
The partnership between Major League Baseball and DraftKings will give the sportsbook access to exclusive league data.

Details of this partnership

Leading fantasy sports and sports betting operator DraftKings is partnering up with Major League Baseball (MLB) in an official data deal. This will give DraftKings access to official MLB data for a number of years. The operator will be able to use the data to provide better offerings on their sportsbook for both pre-game and in-play markets. 

The Chief Business Officer for DraftKings, Ezra Kucharz, spoke about the importance of this new partnership. He said: “This is going to give us better, faster data, and allow us to power a lot of in-game wagering. You’re going to see us do more, faster propositions that are tied to individual at-bats, and maybe even pitch-by-pitch.”

The deal makes DraftKings only the second company in the sports betting or gambling space to partner up with the MLB.

The deal makes DraftKings only the second company in the sports betting or gambling space to partner up with the MLB. MGM Resorts International also has a deal in place with the league since November 2018. 

The partnership deal gives these two companies access to exclusive data from the league’s data partners, the Perform Group and Sportradar AG.

The sportsbooks can directly access a live feed during games. This is vital for providing the best in-play markets as possible. Live betting is massively popular in sports betting, so this deal will help DraftKings to really cater for MLB fans. 

MLB games are the second most popular to bet on by the DraftKings customers, ranking behind NFL games and ahead of NBA games. It helps that the MLB has so many games during the season, which provide ample opportunities for people to place bets. There is also a stop-start flow to these games, which makes it easier to place bets in-play.

MLB’s approach to sports betting

The MLB worked closely with the other major United States sports leagues for many years to stop sports betting legalization. Ultimately they did not manage to do so, so they turned to see what opportunities were available to them. Initially, the MLB was pushing for the introduction of integrity fees into states with legal sports betting. This would see a slice of every MLB sports bet going to the league. However, no state to date has made an inclusion for an integrity fee in their final legislation. The MLB began to focus on other potential avenues.

They will be looking at similar data distribution deals as the ones they already have with MGM Resorts and now DraftKings. This is a similar approach to what the NBA is doing with their data. 

To date, even unofficial partners of the MLB have access to this data feed. However, in the near future, the league plans to only give data access to those they have an official partnership agreement with. The MLB is giving operators a taste of what they can expect if they were to enter into a partnership arrangement. 

DraftKings’ success

DraftKings is one of the leading sportsbooks in the burgeoning US market today, with ten states currently having open sportsbooks. The company has a presence in the Mississippi and New Jersey markets, and is planning to launch in a few more states before the year is over. 

Interestingly, the MLB had an equity stake in DraftKings, albeit a small one, due to a past partnership agreement. However, the league privately sold this position at the start of 2019.