NFL turns attention to data-rights deal

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The biggest fish are in the boat, but there are still plenty of other fish in the NFL’s financial sea.

Via Jabari Young of CNBC.com, the NFL will pivot from its recently-completed media-rights deals to its data-rights arrangement.

The league reportedly will seek over $100 million per year for data rights, which fuel sports betting. The NFL could be trying to get as much as $250 million per year for this information.

Currently, the league has a data-rights deal with Sportsradar, a company that gathers information and operates the league’s next-gen stats.

Questions have lingered for years regarding the data that actually is subject to copyright and thus can be marketed. Basic, obvious statistical information that can be gleaned from watching a game isn’t protected; the value comes from higher-end measurements and figures, fueled by the wearable technology that allows, for example, player speed to be calculated.

The data helps betting companies set odds on a variety of potential bets. The rights to that data gives the league a viable revenue stream from the legalized gambling industry.

For the NFL, it’s just one of many potential paths to cash. Although all sports leagues have backed away from the pie-in-the-sky effort to get a piece of the handle in each state under the label of an “integrity fee,” there are plenty of ways to carve enough slices of the gambling cake to turn it into a gigantic pile of cold, hard cash.

3 responses to “NFL turns attention to data-rights deal

  1. It really is amazing that some people continue to propound the preposterous notion that the NFL is in decline. $110 billion in new television contracts, including a league opt-out, and additional revenue streams conclusively prove that the NFL is stronger and more profitable than ever. Keep that in mind the next time you see someone pontificating about alleged declining ratings or attendance.

  2. Is it me or does the fact that the NFL is now getting paid on legal bets, directly, make people not want to bet legally. The last thing I want is to give sports owners any more money.

  3. The NFL is currently the greatest source of entertainment in the world. It’s a money machine. I’d watch a preseason football game over a World Series game. It’s been catching on overseas, too, so the money rolling in is just going to keep increasing. The game itself is exciting for pure football fans, but now gamblers have another outlet. I don’t bet on games, so it doesn’t make any difference to me, but the revenue gets shared with players and coaches, so I like that.

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