IMG Arena and NHL expand betting rights deal to legalised US markets
IMG Arena, the sports betting business of the prominent international agency, has deepened its relationship with North American ice hockey's NHL, today announcing a deal to provide sports betting operators in USA with live streams of selected out-of-market games.
Streams will be provided via the operators’ digital betting platforms in US markets where sports gambling has been legalised since the May 2018 repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which largely outlawed the activity outside Nevada.
IMG Arena has been offering the same service for the NHL in legalised European markets since 2013, and is contracted to do so until 2021.
Freddie Longe, executive vice-president and managing director of IMG Arena, said: “The NHL is a highly-valued asset in our portfolio, and we are proud to expand this successful partnership to offer one of the largest US sports to our growing customer base of sports books. This marks a major development in the US betting rights landscape, and we look forward to driving further engagement for NHL fans.”
Steve McArdle, the NHL's 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.”
In addition to distributing the NHL betting rights in various markets, IMG has been selling international broadcast rights to the league outside of USA, Canada and the Nordics since 2016-17. That deal ends after the 2020-21 season.
The NHL has been quick to take advantage of a relaxation of betting legislation in USA, signing official sports betting partnerships with William Hill US, an arm of the UK-based bookmaker, MGM Resorts, the US casino operator, and FanDuel, the US fantasy sports provider owned by Irish-UK bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair.