SBJ/May 2-8, 2016/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Tennis’ deals with data companies under review

"Gambling is legal in many parts of the wrold," said ITF President David Haggerty.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Tennis’ contracts with data companies are part of the review being conducted by the independent panel the sport assembled in the wake of match-fixing allegations earlier this year, said David Haggerty, the president of the International Tennis Federation.

The ITF itself has a five-year, $70 million contract with SportRadar, which provides match information to gambling houses. The ITF and tennis’ other governing bodies have defended the data deals as helping in the fight against match fixing, though critics contend that by enabling gamblers to bet on so many aspects of tennis it opens the door to corruption.

“We have said before that we work closely with data providers because gambling is legal in many parts of the world,” said Haggerty, a former chairman of the U.S. Tennis Association. “We worry about illegal issues that happened in the past. That is why all the governing bodies — WTA, ATP and ITF — have data rights agreements.”

The ATP and WTA have deals with Enetpulse.

The governing bodies have said previously they would follow the recommendation of the panel, so that could put the data deals under review if the panel questions these contracts. The panel is led by British lawyer Adam Lewis and is expected to make its recommendations next year.

That is when Haggerty also hopes the ITF will vote on changes to the Fed Cup and Davis Cup, the annual national team competitions that for years have struggled with relevancy. Haggerty, who recently moved to Richmond, a suburb of London, is pitching an increase in the number of countries that participate and a neutral site for the final four teams. Currently, all competitions are played in one of the two countries facing each other.

If the ITF were to move the events to neutral sites, Haggerty said the London-based body might financially help participating countries get their fans to the neutral site.

“It’s not all about the money,” he said.


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