Stats Perform retains Pro League Opta data collection with heightened broadcast focus

Sports data and technology company Stats Perform will continue to exclusively collect and manage data from Belgian football’s top-tier Jupiler Pro League and second-tier 1B Pro League through its Opta division under a “multi-year” agreement announced today (Wednesday).

Stats Perform, which recently acquired the live betting streaming rights to the Belgian top flight, replacing rival IMG, has been named as the ‘Official Data Partner’ of Pro League, the administrator of the top two football divisions in Belgium.

The performance and tracking aspects of Stats Perform’s remit have been expanded with the league, the clubs and their coaching staff to be equipped with live player tracking data through the company’s SportVU player tracking system and athlete monitoring insights.

In a wider broadcast and communications remit, Stats Perform is to provide the “most engaging live data to bring the exciting league to life, by creating unique experiences to inform and power their audience across traditional broadcast channels, digital media and socials”.

This will include the use of the data by Eleven Sports, the subscription broadcaster that holds the domestic and international rights to the league in a five-year agreement. Data provided will include on- and off-the-ball information, including heatmaps.

Eleven Sports’ global rights agreement is worth €103m ($122m) per season between 2020-21 and 2024-25 and, along with rights to the top two Belgian divisions, also includes the Belgian Cup, the Belgian Super Cup, the women’s Super League and the E-Pro League.

Pro League said that Stats Perform’s data will also be supplied to the recently-rebranded league body’s new website and the clubs’ own communications platforms.

On the fast betting data collection side, the Pro League is part of an existing centralised 16-league agreement signed by the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (European Leagues) with Stats Perform, Genius Sports and Sportradar. That contract runs from 2019-20 to 2021-22.

In going to market, Pro League split up its international broadcast, betting streaming and scouting video rights as it opted to sell each separately in order to drive the maximise value from each. A deal for the scouting video rights is still to be finalised.

Leander Monbaliu, chief business officer at the Pro League, said: “Our league aims to be one of the most innovating leagues in Europe. The agreement with Stats Perform will be a key driver for achieving this as part of our recently launched Pro League Forward project.

“Not only will we support our clubs in gathering the best performance data insights and communication tools, the deal will also allow for our broadcasting partner, Eleven Sports, and ourselves to develop innovative solutions based on the data of Stats Perform, bringing fans closer to football.”

Alex Rice, Stats Perform’s chief rights officer, remarked: “We know that it is really important for the league and Eleven Sports to produce the best possible experience for their audience, which means reassuring their passionate fans that the data from their competitions comes from the best possible source – whether it is viewed on their own platforms or official broadcasters. Our agreement will enable us to leverage market-leading data services with best in class solutions to serve the needs of the Pro League and all market verticals.”

Guillaume Collard, managing director of Eleven Sports Belgium, said: “We have established a unique cooperation with the Pro League, which is very much focused on innovation and delivering the newest technologies to our fans. The cooperation with Stats Perform is a great example: our broadcasts are enriched with engaging data and clubs enjoy the most advanced performance technology on the market.”

The Belgian Pro League recently derived a marked increase in the value of its live betting streaming rights in its long-term deal with Stats Perform, as recently reported by SportBusiness Media.