Global sports management agency IMG and the ATP World Tour had reportedly agreed on a $ 1 billion deal for betting streaming and data rights of the Tour for a ten-year cycle.
The deal, covering the ATP World Masters 1000 series, the World Tour 500 series and some of the 250 series events, will be the biggest ever media-rights agreement for tennis.
According to sportsbusiness.com, IMG and the commercial arm of the ATP World Tour – ATP Media – are in the closing stages to ink the deal. The negotiations, according to report, have been bilateral as the deal is not put through the tender process and no other parties are invited to place offers.
However, IMG already controls a considerable share of the tennis business by way of representation rights of elite players like Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka as well as tournament operations. The company has also been involved with lucrative deals with the ATP over the years, such as becoming the exclusive worldwide corporate hospitality partner of the ATP Finals.
Although the deal represents a big increase in value for the ATP, the lack of a process allowing rival bids means the ATP has no way of knowing whether it has secured the best possible deal for its rights.
IMG, Perform Content and Sportradar currently dominate the extremely competitive betting streaming rights business.
The report further suggest that the IMG and the ATP did not respond to the queries about the deal.