Genius Sports and Sportradar Settle Long-Running Soccer Data Tussle

  • Sportradar sub-licensed for English soccer data, but must nix its unofficial in-stadia scouts
  • The sub-license Sportradar purchased that’s good through 2024 is for a “delayed data feed”
  • Genius keeps its exclusive IP right to provide “low latency Official FDC betting data rights” 
  • While the terms of Monday’s deal remain confidential, the settlement ends a long legal battle
Genius Sports logo
The long legal battle between Genius Sports, FDC, and Sportradar has ended with a resolution that gives the latter delayed UK soccer data rights. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Resolution found

Genius Sports, Sportradar, and the Football DataCo (FDC) have finally emerged from their long-running UK legal battle over soccer data rights with a resolution.

Sportradar gets a sub-license for UK soccer data

Genius released a statement Monday announcing that the parties had agreed an out-of-court settlement. Sportradar gets a sub-license for UK soccer data, but must call off its unofficial in-stadia scouts at English Premier League, (EPL), English Football League, and Scottish Professional Football League matches.

While the litigation featured multiple lawsuits, the most pivotal dispute was Genius’ assertion that Sportradar had illegally tasked scouts with providing data for in-game wagering.

Although Sportradar now has access to soccer data through a sublicense running until 2024, Genius confirmed this would be a “delayed data feed.”

Devil in the data

Prior to Monday’s agreement, Sportradar collected data through its now redundant scouts, or via radio and TV data collection. These methods proved slower than Genius’ in-stadia data, and often unavailable when games were not broadcast live. As such, it left the Switzerland-based firm at a market disadvantage.

alleged that the Genius/FDC partnership ran contrary to UK and EU competition law

This led Sportradar to file a lawsuit against Genius in 2020. The data supplier alleged that the Genius/FDC partnership ran contrary to UK and EU competition law. The company claimed it wanted “to build its own database and to compete effectively in the market.”

In February, Genius filed a counter lawsuit against Sportradar in the UK High Court, alleging that it had dispatched “data scouts” to stadiums, breaking Genius’ IP exclusivity.

Monday’s resolution gives FDC the right to “continue to license and market FDC data, in future as it determines.” Genius also kept its exclusive IP right to provide “low latency Official FDC betting data rights” through 2024.

Winners and losers

While Sportradar might have secured a source for its data, some industry observers have questioned the impact of a delayed data feed on in-game pricing. The supplier will also have to market its feed as the Official FDC Secondary Feed.

As a result, Genius Sports and FDC may count themselves the victors in the data dispute. On Monday, the former stated that the specific terms of the settlement are confidential.

FDC is an intellectual property licensing firm owned by the EPL and the English and Scottish soccer leagues. In May 2019, Genius inked a groundbreaking deal with FDC to collect, license, and distribute the live data from games in the three UK soccer leagues.