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IMG nears historic ATP World Tour data deal

The IMG agency is close to agreeing a 10-year, $1bn (€884m) deal for betting streaming and data rights to the ATP World Tour. If completed, it will be the biggest tennis media-rights deal in history and will provide a massive financial boost to the sport.

According to SportBusiness Media, the deal would cover the ATP World Masters 1000 series, the World Tour 500 series and some of the 250 series events. The deal, which is in the final stages of negotiation, is between IMG and ATP Media, the tour’s commercial arm.

However, the same publication has reported that ATP Media is likely to face heavy criticism, and possibly official complaints, over how the negotiation process was handled as the rights were not put out to the market in a transparent tender process. No other party was invited to make a counter-offer in private negotiations.

The market for betting streaming rights is currently dominated by IMG, Perform Content and Sportradar and is extremely competitive. In December 2015, Sportradar inked a five-year, $70m deal to become the exclusive data partner of the International Tennis Federation.

Last November, IMG reached a multi-year deal with the golf PGA Tour to distribute data from the Tour’s Shotlink technology to gambling operators outside the U.S.

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