IMG Arena secures five-year Scottish Football streaming partnership
Agreement covers Scottish Professional Football competition and introduces Pixellot partnership
Sports betting service and content hub IMG Arena has signed a long-term rights agreement with the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL). The five-year agreement, commencing at the start of the 2020/21 season, will see IMG Arena provide SPFL content to the international betting market as well as introducing an innovative automatic production set-up for certain matches.
The deal will incorporate the Ladbrokes Premiership – featuring the ‘Old Firm’ Glasgow derby between Celtic and Rangers, which regularly attracts global TV audiences in the millions – the Championship, League One and League Two, as well as the Betfred Cup and Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup.
To support the SPFL partnership, IMG Arena has entered into an agreement with AI-automated sports production company Pixellot, to deliver an increased breadth of coverage. The partnership will ensure an enhanced experience and allow for more extensive fan engagement.
The first partnership of its kind for IMG Arena, the deal will see Pixellot’s patented technology installed at SPFL Championship grounds. The automated technology uses advanced production algorithms and a network of cameras tracking play, to generate match footage that can be used online as well as across mobile devices. The footage will be made available to an international audience, restricted to countries outside the UK and Ireland.
Neil Doncaster, SPFL chief executive, said: “Deepening our mutually successful partnership with IMG Arena creates a range of increased commercial benefits, allowing us to reinvest significant revenues across the SPFL. It will also help to increase the international visibility and popularity of our competitions through innovative, best-in-class production.”
Freddie Longe, managing director at IMG Arena, said: “We are proud to renew our longstanding partnership with the SPFL. The extension of our relationship will see our remit grow further over a lengthy period and secures a key product in our portfolio. Signing this deal is a strong endorsement of our streaming product.
“Adding our innovative AI-automated solutions to IMG Arena’s world-leading production expertise creates a new template for sport streaming. This new venture will lead to audience growth for the SPFL’s competitions and will help take its content offering to the next level.”
Headquartered in London, IMG Arena works with more than 350 leading sportsbook operators worldwide, providing always-on services including 24/7 live streaming and on-demand virtual sports products designed to evolve and inspire engagement by placing fans at the heart of the action. Its data collection system ensures that the fastest and most accurate sources of data are delivered live from the action to the end user in less than a second.
IMG Arena processes official data for more than 45,000 sporting events per year. In 2018, more than 70 million hours of IMG ARENA content was watched by 42 million unique viewers around the globe.