Genius Sports Accused of Price-Gouging for NFL Data

Genius Sports won the rights to NFL’s official data for $120 million a year for six years. The company set the percentage of revenues and sportsbook operators are unhappy about a steep increase.

In April, Genius Sports won its bid to be the official data distributor of the National Football League. The six-year deal came with a hefty price tag: a reported $120 million a year.

A source told Legal Sports Report that say Genius wants 4 percent of pre-game NFL betting revenues and 6 percent for in-play revenues. Those figures are four times what Sportradar charged when they provided the data. Operators aren’t too happy.

“Just because [Genius] made a bad deal, doesn’t mean we are going to bail them out,” said the source.

One operator said the dataset isn’t different, just the cost. But Genius says it provides other services to justify the increased charges, including advertising and help in locating and retaining players.

Sportsbooks also oppose paying for pre-match data when they do that on their own. “It seems they want 4 percent of pre-match revenue just for the use of NFL logos,” the source said.

Genius hasn’t revealed any clients for its data feed, though football season is less than two months away. But sportsbooks will likely sign on because they need the NFL. FanDuel, DraftKings and Caesars are official partners of the league. Others have deals with particular teams and must use the NFL data feeds. The league can also threaten to prohibit sportsbooks from advertising on TV without the official data. Don’t forget that some states make using official league data a requirement.

Sportsbooks have some leverage. States which require use of official league data often say the cost of such data must be reasonable, giving operators an avenue to argue that the increases charges are anything but reasonable.

Operators could also limit their data feed to in-play data. Or go with an unofficial feed. Sportradar might be offering that option.

“Most books will end up paying, I guess, as there’s no great options,” one executive said.