The Athletic: Saudi Arabia have done the exact opposite of what they had to do to close the Newcastle United deal

Saudi Arabia have permanently cancelled the licence of beIN Sports in their kingdom and fined them £2 million after accusing them of abusing their dominant position through several monopolistic practices.

The Qatari broadcaster has been barred from broadcasting in the KSA since June 2017, and that made them file a complaint with the World Trade Organization in 2018.


Qatar also accused Saudi of refusing to take action against alleged piracy of beIN Sports’ content by pirate satellite TV beoutQ.

The conflict between both countries has hindered the Premier League from approving the £300 million takeover of Newcastle United by the Public Investment Fund, and KSA’s latest move has further complicated things.

The Athletic’s investigations reporter Matt Slater, BBC’s Dan Roan and Daily Mail’s Craig Hope have reacted thus to Saudis’ decision:

BeIN Sports have since replied to Saudi’s move to permanently cancel their license in the country:

While it is widely believed that the Newcastle takeover will go through after Saudi made moves to combat broadcast piracy following the WTO’s ruling, the latest development could land a blow on their chances.

BeIN Sports’ Senior Football Anchor Richard Keys has claimed that the Premier League will approve the bid on Friday, and it will be interesting to see what happens now.