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Surprise – Saudi Arabia Fines And Bans beIN Sports – To Further Complicate Newcastle Takeover



There’s news today that may impact the acquisition of Newcastle United by the Amanda Staveley led coalition.

The Saudi Arabia General Authority for Competition (GAC) have “permanently terminated” beIN Sports’ license to any future broadcasting in Saudi Arabia.

They have also fined the sports channel 10M million riyals (£2.1M with today’s exchange rate –  peanuts)  and say it’s because the Qatar sports channel has violated Saudi competition law.

Here is a piece from the Guardian (Louise Taylor) on the surprise news this monring:

“The Saudi Arabian government permanently barred the Premier League’s Qatar-based Middle East broadcast partner from operating in the kingdom.”

“beIN’s £500M deal with the Premier League runs until 2022 and there is now no legal way for anyone in Saudi Arabia to watch England’s top tier till then.”

There is bad blood between the two kingdoms, and the Premier League games are not available to be watched in Saudi Arabia and have been illegal in Saudi Arabia for three years.

That’s one reason that Saudi-based channel beoutQ has been pirating the beIN Sports live broadcasts.

They have included the Premier League games.

But we shouldn’t have to get into the politics of all of this.

It’s nevertheless a surprise move in the week when beIN Sports pundit Richard Keys has predicted the takeover of Newcastle by Amanda Staveley’s coalition will be given the go-ahead by the Premier League on Friday.

This move seems to complicate things, and it’s not completely clear why Saudi Arabia have made this move.

It may be something they are doing to break the monopoly beIN Sports has in the region on sports, and it’s before the announcement that the Newcastle acquisition will be approved.

There’s hope in that statement!

But it may also be positioning the government to legally get PL games in the future because they will 80% funding the Newcastle United acquisition.

The £300M deal is 80% funded by the Saudi Sovereign Wealth fund and has been in the PL’s owners and directors test since April 9th, – that’s 14 weeks tomorrow!

Saudi Crown Prince – Mohammed bin Salman

It’s thought that the Kingdom is trying to break up the monopoly beIN Sports has in the region, and the GAC say the channel have “abused its dominant position.”

beIN Sports are the current rights holder in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region for Premier League football for the next two years.

So this may be positioning Saudi Arabia to get the Premier League rights when they come up for auction next year and the subsequent three-year license, which will begin in 2022.

Bidding for those rights is due to start next year.

It will be vital for Saudi Arabia to be able to broadcast PL games in the future when one of the best teams in that league – Newcastle United – is 80% owned by the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund.

🙂

It’s a little daft that we have to go into this level of detail on what is purely a political move because it may have some bearing on the Newcastle takeover.

But we still think the Saudi-backed deal will go through and maybe Richard Keys will be accurate, for once, when he says it will be announced on Friday.

Hope so.

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Comments welcome.


92 comments so far

  • hibbit

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #1

    good to see hit man has steady himself on his orange box,
    this morning’s sermon was quite amusing 😀

    3
  • Kevin Vegan

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #2

    “BeIN’s £500M deal with the Premier League runs until 2022 and there is now no legal way for anyone in Saudi Arabia to watch England’s top tier till then.”

    Chance of this going through now must be practically 0. No way would the Saudis buy a PL club in the middle of a piracy dispite with the WTO if the only way they could watch the team play football was through a pirated broadcast. Dead in the water I’m afrad.

    9
  • hibbit

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #3

    I THINK jIB’S MODERATION IS TOTALLY OVER THE TOP WHEN YOU READ SOME OF THAT CRAP THAT WAS POSTED ON HERE LAST NIGHT,

    17
  • The ledge

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #4

    Bruce on again today spouting more of his bile its our fault for being to ambitious lmfao.
    While he is in charge there will be no fear of that happening.

    12
  • hibbit

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #5

    bruce needs to zip it,

    12
  • hexhamtoon

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #6

    “Kevin Vegan Chance of this going through now must be practically 0. ”

    Oh so you believe in the takeover now it looks like it may fail ?

    Strange type of supporter you are

    23
  • Kevin Vegan

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #7

    The Ledge

    Bruce’s comments sounded like more management of our expectations to me. He might as well have said “forget about the Saudis, get used to business as usual for the foreseeable future”. He certainly didn’t sound like he expected us to be taking a huge leap forwards any time soon.

    1
  • Kevin Vegan

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #8

    If Bruce was half as good at managing a football team as he is at managing expectations we’d be in Europe next season…

    2
  • toon22

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #9

    Hiya JIB

    LoL

    6
  • The ledge

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #10

    He make me sick every time he opens that hole in his face

    9
  • Kevin Vegan

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #11

    Hexhamtoon

    No mate, I’m saying I don’t think they would be acting this way if they were in the process of buying our club. In what way is that “believing in the takeover”?

    2
  • The ledge

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #12

    Kevin…..he knows nothing about takeover in my opinion thats why he is mouthing off telling them to hurry up and make a decision.
    He knows his time is up.

    7
  • Jib

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #13

    hello toon22

    5
  • simon376

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #14

    Dont know why anyone would be concerned and not see the positive of the tv ban out in Saudi. Dont need to worry too much about the remaining games for this season, only 3 left, they will have their own channel for next season

    17
  • Mattroge

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #15

    Hi Kevin,

    Is this the takeover you said that wasn’t real? LOL!

    13
  • The ledge

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #16

    Simon…..i agree I think yesterday move by the Saudis was positive I think they will secure there own rights to to watch the premier league.
    How I dont know but money always finds a way and I’m sure they have a lot more intelligent people than us advising them .

    1
  • Mund

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #17

    Simon there’s only a few who don’t see the positive. For me it’s the final hurdle before the announcement.

    8
  • Mund

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #18

    Ledge there’s detailed talk about how they can and even Dubai called it a while back and he seems to of been right, nothing confirmed yet but seems to look that way.

    1
  • Kevin Vegan

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #19

    Simon

    The rights won’t he up for sale again for another 2 years and the current broadcasters hold the broadcasting rights until then. The Saudis can’t just buy a seperate deal at this stage of the proceedings as it would violate the terms of the deals with the existing broadcasters. They have paid for distribution exclusivity and the PL can’t just decide to violate that because the Saudis have banned BeIN

    3
  • The ledge

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #20

    I said yesterday and I’m sticking to it I think this deal is done and we are just waiting for the season to end .
    Saudis just flexing there muscles now its all done .

    3
  • geordietom

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #21

    Man U …

    0
  • Mund

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #22

    It’s quite easy actually because on legal grounds Saudi have every right to ban bein, anyone who is swaying either way there is plenty of details out there that explains this.

    BeIN will get compensation and Saudi set up there own network to show in the kingdom

    6
  • Jib

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #23

    This could be KSA leading the way for all the MENA nations
    to ban beIN from their territories

    9
  • Mattroge

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #24

    Mund @17 totally agree mate. As soon as a legal framework is worked out for the PL to be shown in KSA- this may have already been done- then this goes through.

    1
  • The Hit Man & Her

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #25

    Hibbit you could just ignore me then couldn’t you? 😉

    Don’t know what I did to get you so bent out of shape but you’re obviously on a mission.

    6
  • dekka

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #26

    The whole takeover business is very boring. No one knows anything. Trying to interpret actions of this and that body or government In terms of whether it makes the takeover more or less likely is futile. Meanwhile I’m still not bothering to invest anything in SDFC until Mike Ashley has left the building.

    11
  • Mund

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #27

    Ledge no way where the Saudis going to just sit there while there enemies try to derail this deal in the way that they did and many other reasons.

    Saudis don’t just sit there and take it they fight back and when they do they come hard

    1
  • Just a fan

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #28

    Jib.
    I don’t recall you doing anything to be moderated for.
    Just thought you had stayed away while the,”clan” were operating on here.
    You haven’t been biting babies heads off again lol.

    3
  • Kevin Vegan

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #29

    Mattroge

    Does it look real to you? The Saudis just banned the only broadcaster who gave them legal access to PL games. Do you think the PL will let them buy a club when the only way they can access games is via pirate channels?

    So much for the delay being because the PL are using this as leverage on piracy issues. If that were ever true, the Saudis just stuck 2 fingers up to the PL by banning the only legal broadcaster of the PL in the country

    3
  • Mund

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #30

    Mattroge it’s how I see it mate, getting closer mate very close 🙂

    0
  • geordietom

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #31

    there’s no right’s for Saudi they cancelled Beins License to broadcast so therefor the rights for THEIR area are up for grabs . simple as that …

    2
  • The Hit Man & Her

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #32

    I’m all for optimism. Done a bit of it myself in the past. Some of my best friends are optimists etc…

    But…….

    This all looks like expectations are starting to be massaged all over the shop. Not just Bruce playing down our ambition to match his ability. The media have been finding excuses to push back the idea of a takeover further and further.bnie we are getting all sorts of stories that lead us to believe delays are being caused by massive rights wrangles between two countries that somehow have to bear relation to the relatively small concern of buying a football club in NE England.

    It’s looking more than ever like a 419 type setup where ever more obscure events supposedly push back the dates for seeing your money ever again. This could be embarrassing for a lot of people.

    4
  • The Hit Man & Her

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #34

    I reckon jib was biting his knuckles all last night itching to comment ha ha

    6
  • Mund

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #35

    I posted yesterday about PIF and the consortium not knowing about it until it was out there (probs did tho)

    Separate entity entirely

    #cans

    1
  • RobLeenio

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #36

    When you think about these TV rights deals, they are a bit odd. Essentially you have a sports governance body (the Premier League) giving an organisation a territory over which it can distribute its product (TV coverage of the football).

    It’s a sales territory, but sold with no authority for enforcement by the Premier League – how could they ever enforce it without the implicit agreement of the National Governments in that territory? As we’ve seen with BeoutQ and the reluctance of the Saudi Government to allow legal recourse against them, this is practically unenforceable.

    So KSA have said, essentially, the Premier League have no right to dictate to our citizens where they buy their access to watching Premier League football from as we have never agreed to it.

    By digging their heels in the ground they’re actually creating a very interesting legal precedent which could see huge changes to how TV rights are negotiated going forward.

    12
  • RobLeenio

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #37

    Oh, and also

    #Cans

    6
  • Swanny

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #38

    Saudi’s can’t do a deal with Qatar owing to the trade wars in the M/E

    Saudi’s will deal direct with Premier League, Premier will then reimburse Qatar.

    Face saving all round, piracy gone and tv rights for Saudi achieved, without dealing directly with each other’

    I could be talking bull chit though !

    Respect

    Respect

    9
  • Northumbrian

    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #40

    Plenty of other genuine broadcasters who have bought pl rights have satellite’s flying over the area who the Saudis could deal with.
    Read somewhere yesterday that at least 5 or 6 other countries are prepared to follow suit and that would mean bein would not be able to fulfill their part of their contract.

    2


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