Sportradar data scouts have relayed NCAA betting information from basketball venues without permission, LSR has learned.
Screenshots of the Betradar operator interface obtained by LSR show some NCAA games scouted from TV and, more crucially, some from a scout in-venue:
A source tells LSR that Sportradar scouts were allowed in venues under an integrity monitoring deal with the NCAA, but should not have been relaying betting information. It is unclear whether the association will escalate the issue with March Madness looming.
NCAA betting not yet embraced by association
The NCAA has a 10-year exclusive data collection deal with Sportradar rival Genius Sports. That data is not currently passed onto bookmakers.
Under that contract, no party other than Genius Sports is permitted to collect data at NCAA events for commercial exploitation.
The NCAA said in a statement provided to LSR: “The NCAA does not have a contractual relationship with any entity to provide official NCAA sports wagering data and has not authorized any entity to provide statistical data to sportsbooks.”
Sportradar denies any wrongdoing
Sportradar “categorically refuted” any allegations it was in breach of its contracts for data collection or integrity services.
“To Sportradar, this allegation and story is clearly an attempt by a competitor to soil our name without a clear understanding of the facts.
“It is industry norm that there is, and has always been, a significant amount of betting that takes place with collegiate level sporting events and demand from licensed sportsbooks for data to offer these.
“Sportradar, along with competitors in the industry, has provided open-source data coverage to licensed sportsbooks in the US and globally for some time to ensure the highest quality product can be used by sportsbooks.”
What action could NCAA, Genius take?
John Holden, a sports law assistant professor at Oklahoma State University, warned the NCAA and Genius Sports might have trouble legally preventing Sportradar from distributing the data once it is collected.
Thats’s because the First Amendment provides freedom around the use of data that is in the public domain.
The two partners would however be able to remove Sportradar scouts from venues if they were found to be transmitting NCAA betting data.
The situation is reminiscent of the debate around UK soccer last year when Genius secured official data rights and started cracking down on scouts from other providers.
However, EU law provides more protection over the ownership of this type of data.