Operators face margin pressure from FDC price hike

11 October 2019

An increase to the price of English and Scottish football data in the wake of Genius Sports Group’s exclusive partnership with Football DataCo (FDC) is squeezing operators' already tight margins further.

Multiple sources have confirmed to iGamingBusiness.com that the price of data from the Premier League, English Football League and Scottish Professional Football League has been raised to between 7.5% and 15% of gross gaming revenue.

The 15% GGR fee is only for the largest operators, and that price is capped after a certain threshold. However, bookmakers told iGB that this cap only benefits top-tier businesses, leaving smaller companies facing a significant increase in costs.

In May this year, Genius Sports secured a landmark deal with FDC, granting it exclusive rights to collect, license and distribute live data from the UK's leading football competitions. The agreement was described by Genius Sports chief executive Mark Locke as "transformational" for the business. 

However industry sources iGB spoke to offered contrasting views on the success of the agreement to date. While some suggested it was performing well commercially, others suggested higher prices would deter smaller businesses from striking supply deals.

One person, speaking on the condition of anonymity, suggested a deal with at least one major operator was close being announced.

Genius was unwilling to comment on the matter at this time.

It is worth noting that while other suppliers charge significantly less - Sportradar is reportedly charging 1.5% of GGR for access to its National Football League data feeds - the FDC data covers eight professional football leagues, rather than one. 

The decision to award Genius Sports exclusive rights to the FDC data has proved controversial, especially as the agreement does not any include a provision for sub-licensing agreements. 
Sportradar, which also refused to comment on the matter, previously claimed that the lack of a sub-licensing provision infringes on European Union and UK competition law.

Genius Sports, however, maintains that it will consider sub-licensing the scouting rights, but is currently focused on securing agreements with operators.