IMG is closing in on a 10-year, $1 billion deal with the ATP World Tour for betting data and live wagering rights, according to a report yesterday by SportsBusiness Media.
The data market has been dominated by the likes of Perform Group, Genius Sports and Sportradar, who signed a five-year extension to its deal with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) – the governing body for world tennis – in December 2015.
The ITF oversees the Grand Slam events and organises team competitions such as the Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Hopman Cup, as well as tennis and wheelchair tennis events at the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games on behalf of the International Olympic Committee.
The rumoured IMG deal, which would easily represent the largest media rights deal in the history of professional tennis, is said to cover matches on the ATP World Masters 1000 series, the World Tour 500 series and certain tournaments on the ATP 250 tour.
However, the same publication has reported that ATP Media – the commercial arm of the tour – could face criticism, and possibly official complaints, over how the negotiation process was handled.
This is said to be because the rights were not offered within a transparent tender process, while no other party was invited to make a counter-offer.