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What does the Genius v Sportradar settlement mean for sports data rights holders?

Artificial Intelligence Data
Thursday, 01 December 2022 By Andrew Cox, Toby Bond, Saskia King, Andy Danson

It was recently announced that the long-standing dispute between Genius Sport and Sportradar has come to an end because the parties have now settled the case1.

We wrote about this case at the start of 2021, wide eyed and eager to see how exclusive data rights arrangements would fare in the face of the competition claims, and whether rightsholders would continue to be able to rely on ticketing terms, rights of confidence, and the laws of trespass and conspiracy to protect the integrity of their exclusive rights deals against unofficial data scouts2.

The terms of the settlement will remain confidential, but what we do know is that Sportradar has agreed to refrain from posting data scouts in UK football stadiums, and has obtained a sublicence from Genius for an ‘official secondary feed’, which will have greater latency (i.e. a longer delay) compared to the primary feed.

The settlement in Genius v Sportradar follows the settlement in June 2022 of another key data rights case, The Racing Partnership (TRP) v Sports Information Services (SIS). The Supreme Court had granted SIS permission to appeal a Court of Appeal decision in October 2020 which found SIS had engaged in an unlawful means conspiracy by providing an unofficial feed of live horseracing data and associated odds data. While the Court of Appeal’s decision was generally seen as pro-rights holder, unanswered questions remained which were due to be addressed by Genius v Radar.

With settlements now reached in both TRP v SIS and Genius v Sportradar, much remains to play for in the market for live sports data.  Rights holders and their exclusive licensees will need to remain alive to the ways in which they actively protect their rights and to competition law issues which the Courts have still not had an opportunity to comment on in this particular context.

This article discusses the background to the dispute and looks at the issues raised by the dispute that remains unresolved because of this settlement.

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Written by

Andrew Cox

Andrew Cox

Andrew is a trainee in Bird & Bird's Commercial department in London.

Toby Bond

Toby Bond

Toby is a Senior Associate in Intellectual Property Group at Bird & Bird, based in London. Since joining Bird & Bird in 2010, Toby has been involved in a wide range of contentious intellectual property matters. With his physical sciences background Toby is often involved in disputes involving complex technologies and his recent experience includes matters involving electromagnetic methods for geophysical prospecting, GSM, UMTS and LTE cellular standards, USB functionality, flash memory devices, algorithmic trading systems and digital set top boxes.
Saskia King

Saskia King

Saskia is a legal director in our Competition & EU Law team at Bird & Bird in London with over 15 years' experience at the cutting edge of UK and EU competition law and policy having worked at regulators, competition authorities, in academia and private practice, with a particular focus on regulated sectors such as payment systems as well as financial, retail, consumer, sport, technology and communications markets more widely.

Andy Danson

Andy Danson

Andrew is a partner in Bird & Bird's Commercial Department, concentrating his practice primarily on the gambling and sports sectors. He has particular expertise in online gambling regulation, a broad range of commercial gambling matters and major international sports media rights, sponsorship, licensing, event staging and supply agreements. He is a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law and also a former first-class cricketer.

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