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IMG Arena extends NHL betting rights to US market

IMG Arena, the sports betting arm of the IMG agency, has expanded its deal with ice hockey’s NHL by securing rights to provide US sports betting operators with live streams of select out-of-market games.

The streams will be provided via the operators’ digital betting platforms available in legalised markets for sports betting.

IMG has been offering the service in legalised European markets for several years. In October 2018, the agency renewed its multi-territory betting rights deal with the NHL until 2020-21, having held rights since 2013.

The agreement continued the relationship between the NHL and IMG, which also has a deal in place to sell the NHL’s international media rights, from 2016-17 to 2020-21. That agreement excludes the US, Canada and Nordic territories.

Freddie Longe, executive vice-president and managing director of IMG Arena, said: “This marks a major development in the US betting rights landscape, and we look forward to driving further engagement for NHL fans.”

Steve McArdle, NHL executive vice-president of digital media and strategic planning, added: “The NHL has taken a progressive approach to sports betting, and this live game streaming opportunity with IMG Arena provides another innovative touchpoint for fan engagement.”

IMG Arena has been ramping up its activities in the US betting market as it begins to open up. In September, IMG Arena expanded its scoring data distribution agreement with the PGA Tour to include North America. US-based Scientific Games, the gambling products and services company, then became the first platform to sign up for IMG Arena’s new golf data and live streaming service for bookmakers.