US Major League Rugby (MLR) has sealed a partnership with Genius Sports, focused around streaming and data sharing, as part of the league’s debut move into sports betting.
All MLR matches not broadcast by CBS Sports Network, FS1 and FS2 will be live-streamed with Genius Sports’ suite of sports betting partners.
Genius will also gain exclusive rights to capture and manage MLR data, and distribute data to sportsbook operators across both North America and internationally.
Notable sports betting partners of the league include William Hill, bet365, FanDuel, DraftKings, BetVictor and Betsson.
“We know there is interest in regulated betting on our matches and we have to take proactive measures to safeguard the integrity and transparency of our events,” said MLR Commissioner, George Killebrew.
“We have the utmost confidence in Genius Sports Group to manage our data and deliver it to their sportsbook partners, further engaging all fans, old and new.”
Furthermore, the rugby union tournament will be safeguarded from betting-related corruption and integrity threats via Genius Sports’ 24/7 bet monitoring system, in addition to the provision of model rules, regulations and educational workshops.
The MLR joins a range of sports leagues and tournaments to have formed partnerships with Genius Sports, including the English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A, the Australian National Basketball League (NBL) and the PGA Tour.
In addition to the Genius Sports agreement, the MLR has also enhanced its status in international rugby union following the signing of Australia’s Matt Giteau. Giteau has played professionally in Australia, Japan and France, and has been capped for his country 103 times throughout his career.