Major League Rugby Appoints Genius Sports Group Exclusive Betting Partner

  • The sports data tech company will collect and distribute league data to sportsbooks globally
  • Live streams of non-televised MLR games will be available via the league's sportsbook partners
  • Genius Sports will also work with the league to prevent betting-related integrity issues
  • Other notable Genius Sports Group partners include PGA Tour, NBA, and Premier League
  • The new MLR season starts March 20, with a dozen teams competing in upcoming matches
rugby player prepares to kick oval ball
MLR has partnered with Genius Sports Group to cover the distribution of game data and live-stream matches via the league’s sportsbook partners. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Deal covers data, live streaming

Major League Rugby (MLR) announced on Tuesday that it has signed an exclusive official sports betting partnership with Genius Sports Group. The newly cemented relationship will involve official match data, live streams, and betting-related integrity.

The North America-based league took to Twitter to announce the new agreement with the sports data technology company:

With the new MLR season set to kick off in less than two weeks, Genius Sports Group will collect, manage, and distribute the relevant data from league matches to sportsbooks all around the world.

Certain games will be broadcast on television through FS1, FS2, and the CBS Sports Network. Non-televised games will be available for live streaming across the network of Genius Sports Group sportsbook partners.

Growing interest in MLR betting

As part of the deal, Genius Sports Group will also be working to protect MLR from any form of betting-related integrity issues. Its efforts will include monitoring betting activity on a 24/7 basis, conducting educational workshops, as well as helping with the implementation of an overall MLR integrity program.

working to protect MLR from any form of betting-related integrity issues

In the partnership announcement, Genius Sports Group CEO Mark Locke referred to the growing profile of the league. He also emphasized that the data company’s technology, distribution capabilities, and sportsbook network “will help to enhance engagement and connect MLR with new audiences worldwide.”

MLR commissioner George Killebrew spoke about an increased interest in MLR betting, and the need to proactively implement measures to help protect the integrity of matches. He spoke about the league’s confidence in Genius Sports Group’s ability to “manage our data and deliver it to their sportsbook partners, further engaging all fans, old and new.”

Two parties focusing on growth

Genius Sports Group currently works with more than 500 professional sporting organizations globally, including partnerships with the Premier League, NBA, PGA Tour, NASCAR, and NCAA. It also has agreements with a number of US-focused sports betting operators, such as DraftKings and WynnBET.

Genius Sports is one of the most prominent sports data companies in the world today. It collects sports-related data across the world and distributes it to sportsbooks and media companies. Integrity-related services are another aspect of the group’s offering.

MLR is an up-and-coming rugby union league in North America. It is the highest level of competition for the sport in the region, and its fourth season begins on March 20. A dozen teams will make up the league for the upcoming season. All of the teams are based in the United States, except for a single Canadian team.

A number of notable players will be lining out during the new season. These include Australian legends Matt Giteau and Adam Ashley-Cooper, both of whom will be lining out for the LA Giltinis team. Former England captain Chris Robshaw is on board with the San Diego Legion.