Newcastle United takeover, Saudi Arabia, beIN Sports, updates, news, value, Premier League


Saudi Arabia is to lift its ban on Qatar-based beIN Sports, a source said Thursday, potentially smoothing the way for a Saudi takeover of England’s Newcastle United football club.

Saudi Arabia banned the major broadcaster, which holds the rights to the English Premier League (EPL) and other top competitions, in 2017 at the start of a diplomatic and transport blockade of Qatar which ended in January.

“Saudi Arabia’s 4.5-year illegal ban on beIN is going to be reversed,” a source close to the matter told AFP.

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The source added that Riyadh was seeking to settle Qatar’s $1 billion arbitration claim over pirate broadcasts to Saudi audiences by the BeoutQ network.

No reaction was immediately available from Saudi officials.

BeIN has previously claimed its signals were being blocked by Saudi Arabia and that it played a key role in the previous Newcastle deal falling through.

Telegraph Sport reports Saudia Arabian officials deny that claim but were unable to verify whether the dispute with beIN had been settled.

Saudi’s population of 40 million is rated as one of the biggest potential markets in the Middle East and North Africa for beIN.

One key figure in stopping the previous takeover attempt told The Telegraph: “There is now nothing legally stopping the takeover… The legal issue will be resolved; so it simply becomes a moral question for the Premier League.”

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Riyadh denied any involvement with BeoutQ, but its failure to take action against the channel was a key reason for the EPL’s decision last year to effectively block a £300 million ($A560 million) Saudi bid for Newcastle.

A Competition Appeals Tribunal last week heard that the EPL was “improperly influenced” by English top-flight clubs and beIN in making its decision.

An arbitration hearing is to be held in January.

A consortium featuring Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben Brothers withdrew its offer for Newcastle in 2020 following a long wait for the EPL to approve the deal.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Doha over allegations it supported extremists and was too close to arch rival Iran, accusations that Qatar denied.

Ties have improved markedly this year.

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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, was last month pictured grinning with Qatar’s emir and the UAE national security Adviser in beachwear.

Shortly afterwards, a football friendly was announced between Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain and players from two top Saudi clubs in Riyadh next year.

Last December, the EPL and beIN announced a new rights deal worth a reported $500 million for the Middle East and North Africa region that will run until 2025.

British newspaper reports said 19 of the 20 EPL clubs supported the deal, with Newcastle the only club to vote against.

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Source link : https://www.foxsports.com.au/football/premier-league/epl-2021-newcastle-united-takeover-saudi-arabia-bein-sports-updates-news-value-premier-league/news-story/7c8ca09cb5e73db0ab5a4b82e7769165

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Publish date : 2021-10-06 18:38:55

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