Major League Soccer chooses IMG Arena for data distribution

Who will be the advanced data provider for MLS when this deal begins in 2023 is yet to be determined.GETTY PICTURES

MLS has chosen IMG Arena as its official data distribution partner, with broad implications for fan engagement across sports betting, broadcast and league digital properties. This comes fresh from the league’s groundbreaking media rights deal with Apple. IMG Arena will launch three more or less complete live data streams, offer streaming in sports betting apps, overlay visualizations on broadcasts, and generate new interactive experiences in the MLS app and on league websites and of his clubs. A source pegged its value north of $270 million for the duration of the deal.

Endeavor-owned IMG Arena, which launched in 2012, had previously signed official data agreements with the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and ATP. Its lean FastPath data feed powers real-time and in-play betting; an event data feed offers richer statistical details such as passes and shots on target; and its third option includes advanced tracking data.

“I would say this is a transformative moment in the history of the league,” said MLS SVP/Emerging Ventures. Chris Schlosser. “To mix sports and metaphors, we skate to where the puck is going versus where it has been. We truly believe the world of the future is a world of streaming, and the Apple deal puts us at the forefront of that. And now the IMG Arena deal gives us much of the firepower we need to power those experiences of the future. IMG Arena President Freddie Longe cites the “massive upward trajectory of football in the United States”, buoyed by the looming 2026 FIFA World Cup North America, as well as the influx of international stars into MLS, as reasons for optimism for the league.

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