The National Basketball Association has inked a deal with sports data trackers Sportradar in a further sign of the league’s willingness to embrace the legal sports betting business.
Last month, word spread that the NBA was close to sealing a $250m deal with Sportradar and rival data firm Second Spectrum that would provide official league data to (among other entities) sports betting operators.
On Thursday, the league confirmed the deals, while shying away from spelling out their dollar value. Starting with the 2016-17 season, Sportradar will serve as the Official Provider of Real-time NBA League Statistics, delivering stats on NBA, WNBA and the D-League to clients in over 80 countries.
Sportradar’s data feed will be made available to “gaming operators outside of the U.S. where gaming is legal.” The NBA will also take advantage of Sportradar’s Integrity Services, which monitors over 550 gaming operators around the globe for signs of questionable betting activity.
Second Spectrum has been designated the NBA’s Official Optical Tracking Provider. The company will install its player-tracking system in all NBA arenas this season and expects its intelligent machinery to begin providing all manner of player stats in time for the 2017-18 season.
Sportradar’s connections to the NBA were already well established, as the company’s US division counts NBA owners Michael Jordan, Mark Cuban and Ted Leonsis among its investors. Sportradar has already inked data deals with other major US leagues, including the traditionally betting-phobic NFL and NHL.
Among US leagues, the NBA has been most vocal in ending America’s hypocritical ban on sports betting. Commissioner Adam Silver has repeatedly made public comments on the need to embrace the reality that legal betting drives sports viewership and is the best method of detecting efforts to manipulate match results.