Premier League strike deal with Middle East TV, despite club disapproval

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Newcastle United were the only Premier League club to vote against a new big-price Middle East televised deal as the fallout from their failed Saudi takeover continues.
The Premier League and beIN Sports on Thursday confirmed a new three-year deal, worth £ 367million, starting in 2022.

This ensures that beIN remains the league’s official broadcast partner in the Middle East and North Africa – as they have been since 2013 – despite suggestions that they could face a rival candidacy from Saudi Arabia.

No offers were made, however, while Saudi Arabia was also not cornered as a separate market, which could have offered an alternative solution.

All 20 clubs voted on the latest proposal, which matches the current contract – until 2022 – and is the league’s biggest overseas contract at the moment.

It was voted by a margin of 19-1, with only Newcastle – the subject of a failed £ 300million takeover bid by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund – having voted against the decision.



Premier League Managing Director Richard Masters

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “We are pleased to enter into a meaningful agreement with beIN SPORTS, which is a long-standing and valued partner.

“They have an exceptional track record of delivering premium Premier League content across all of its platforms.

“Our clubs have millions of passionate fans across the Middle East and North Africa and beIN has played an important role in promoting the Premier League and helping to engage these fans with our clubs and players.

“Dedicated coverage of every Premier League match, along with comprehensive support programming and digital content, have helped to increase interest in our clubs and we look forward to continuing our fantastic partnership with beIN. ”

BeIN media group chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi said: “We are delighted to renew our long-standing and trusted partnership with the Premier League until 2025.

“This agreement demonstrates that rights holders who do the most to protect their intellectual property are also doing the most to protect the value of their media rights.

“BeIN is proud to be the official Premier League partner in the 24 countries of the Middle East and North Africa, and we look forward to inspiring and thrilling the millions of Premier League fans in the region both in the run-up to the FIFA 2022 World Cup and for many years beyond. ”



Mike Ashley saw Saudi-backed takeover fail

Hostility between the Toons and the Premier League is not lacking following the failed Saudi takeover, which saw the state-owned PIF withdraw from the deal to buy 80% of Newcastle with Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers in July.

The Saudi state had previously failed to stop the industrial-scale pirating of Premier League TV matches and blocked all legal offers to stop it by the Premier League.

Qatar-based BeIN Sports duly called on the Premier League to block the Newcastle takeover in April.

In September, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley threatened legal action against the Premier League, saying they had officially blocked the takeover in a firmly worded statement.

The Premier League quickly fought back, accusing Ashley of leaking ‘incorrect’ information and insisting there had been no rejection as the offer was withdrawn in July.

However, it was confirmed last month that the club “have initiated arbitration proceedings against the EPL”.

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