Genius Sports to support rebooted XFL league

The rebooted XFL, the American football league that is set to launch in the US next month, has announced a multi-year partnership with sports data and technology company Genius Sports to protect the start-up league against the threats of improper and illegal sports betting.

The deal between the XFL and Genius Sports will see the league establishing an integrity program to prevent match-fixing and betting-related misconduct. Genius Sports will monitor all pre-game and live betting markets to provide the league with alerts and analysis of all significant odds movements.

“Sports betting is growing rapidly in the US and we are gearing up to be a good citizen and thoughtful participant in the marketplace. Our alliance with Genius Sports is an important first step and foundational element,” said Jeffrey Pollack, president and chief operating officer of the XFL. “

According to the media, the XFL’s centralized training camp this month will include betting-focused educational workshops for players, coaches, and game officials, from Genius. Players, coaches, officials, teams and league executives will also be provided with a customised e-learning portal outlining regulations and obligations in relation to betting.

“The XFL has shown an exemplary commitment to protecting the integrity of its games. We are proud to partner with such a dynamic league and look forward to helping the XFL benefit from increased fan avidity by engaging with the nascent US sports betting industry,” added Genius Sports managing director Steven Burton.

The XFL is backed by WWE owner Vince McMahon, who has invested nearly $400m (€459m) in the venture. The first version of the XFL, a joint project between WWE and NBC, lasted just one season in 2001.

However, the prospects for the new version of the XFL appear to be more promising. The league has already agreed multi-year media rights deals with Fox Sports and ESPN and it will be complemented by games on cable (ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 and FS2). ABC will broadcast the inaugural game, between the DC Defenders and Seattle Dragons, at Audi Field in Washington, DC, on February 8, at 2pm ET.

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