Connect with us

Newcastle United

Premier League deliver a blow to Newcastle by extending Middle East TV deal

The Premier League have agreed to extend their overseas television contract with beIN SPORTS for the Middle East and Africa.

The two parties have agreed in principle to another three-year deal from the 2025/26 season that is worth around £550 million, according to Mail Online.

The news is a major setback for Newcastle United’s owners – the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund.

The Saudi government have been blocking beIN’s coverage in their country since November due to ongoing tension with Qatar.

They are also in the process of attempting a hostile takeover of the Doha-based broadcaster.

Newcastle have been keen to build their profile in Saudi, but the row means their matches cannot be watched legally there.

The Premier League are unhappy with the Saudi boycott which was initially triggered in mid-2017 and ran for the next four years.

It was resumed at the start of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and EPL bosses have been unable to bring it to an end.

Shortly after the dispute began, Saudi banned the sale of beIN broadcast boxes in their jurisdiction.

They also barred existing customers from paying their subscription to the channel.

A new website called beoutQ was launched, but subsequent investigations traced the signal back to Saudi satellite provider ArabSat.

A World Trade Organisation panel ruled in favour of Qatar in 2020, with Saudi found guilty of breaking global rules on intellectual property rights by failing to prosecute beoutQ. 

Relations between the two nations briefly improved, with the Saudi government unblocking beIN’s channels inside their borders.

However, the row resurfaced before the World Cup, with Saudi viewers unable to access a beIN-owned live streaming service.

The latest development is unlikely to cool the tension and leaves Newcastle facing a tricky predicament as they strive to establish themselves among the elite.

More in Newcastle United