IMG Arena has secured an exclusive deal to distribute official scoring data from the Golf European Tour.

The long-term arrangement will see IMG Arena live stream two selected Par 3 holes each week for syndication to data rights clients in selected territories.

The supplier is developing a real-time, shot-by-shot data collection system which will be installed at all European Tour events, with these new insights set to be available to fans via European Tour platforms and global broadcasters.

A fully trained scoring team will use GPS technology, connectivity systems and greenside cameras to collect data from every shot in European Tour competition. Successful trials have been completed and further testing will take place across a host of events during 2019, with a view to the system being fully operational for the 2020 season.

Under its agreement with the European Tour, IMG Arena will work closely with the Tour’s Integrity Unit, which was launched in 2018 as a key component of an enhanced integrity programme to protect the Tour from corruption relating to sports betting.

“This partnership with IMG Arena will provide an enhanced statistical offering from our tournaments through real-time, shot-by-shot data,” said European Tour chief content officer Rufus Hack. “It will help us to grow our fan base and increase engagement through improved data and insights for fans across all our platforms.

“Licensing the data for regulated sports betting markets will allow fans around the world the opportunity to engage with our product in a different way. IMG Arena will work closely with our robust integrity programme, and our investment in this area will combine the latest thinking and world-class technology to both disseminate official scoring data to betting markets and protect our tournaments from the threat corruption.”

IMG Arena senior vice president and head of commercial Max Wright commented: “More than a year in the making, this partnership will deliver one of the most sophisticated sports data products ever created. Our state-of-the-art, live scoring capture system will deliver a wealth of data and power a range of exciting new live betting markets.”

The European Tour’s Golf Integrity Unit will use Genius Sports’ bet monitoring system, which is also employed by Major League Baseball and the English Premier League, to compare real-time odds movements from global betting markets with predictive algorithms, providing automatic alerts on any irregular activity.

“Our primary responsibility is to our players. We will educate and support all professionals to ensure they have the right guidance and understand the latest golf betting regulations,” said the European Tour chief operating officer Keith Waters. “We are also conscious of our duty to the game of golf and its outstanding reputation for integrity, so our education and coverage will extend to all player support personnel, including the caddies, friends and families of the players.

“We will be utilising Genius Sports’ sophisticated monitoring system and coordinating with betting regulators and operators, who play a vital part in preventing corruption.”

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