A week ago, BeIN Sports urged the Premier League to block a Saudi-backed takeover at Newcastle United – and the key motivation behind their desperate attempt to derail the deal has now been made pretty clear!
The reason? The Saudis are now preparing a bid of their own to land Premier League TV rights across the Middle-East once a £300m takeover at St James’ Park is announced.
This comes via an ‘exclusive’ from the Daily Mail’s Craig Hope, who not only reports that their proposal would end piracy complaints (which threatened to impact the takeover last week) but also ‘blow BeIN Sports out of the water’ – which would be bad news for our old pal
hairy hands Richard Keys.
As Hope alluded to above, a source has told the Daily Mail that they suspect BeIN Sports’ attempt to reject the Saudis entrance into the Premier League was motivated by fear of losing their own £500m TV deal in the region.
With BeIN Sports’ deal set to expire in 2022, it seems the Saudis will now be looking to seize control – to not only end the piracy debate but to get one over their bitter Qatari rivals.
Here’s what a ‘sources with Saudi connections’ has told The Mail about it all:
“This is a longstanding conflict between Qatar and Saudi and is very political. It is motivated by money and status”
“BeIN will be worried about the arrival of the Saudi state as Premier League owners.”
“The Premier League and Champions League are huge in Saudi and, for the Premier League, it is an untapped market in terms of commercial gain.”
“If the Newcastle takeover goes through as expected then Saudi will start preparing to buy the Premier League TV rights. It is an open tender process that is due to start next year and they have the financial power to outbid Qatar.
“The Premier League are going to find other foreign broadcasters wanting reduced deals post coronavirus and Saudi is the perfect opportunity to make up a large portion of that shortfall.”
On another positive note, the same piece also states that the Saudis £300m takeover of Newcastle United is nearing completion, stating ‘the deal anticipating no complications, despite opposition from Amnesty International as well as beIN‘.
So, it’s good news on all fronts for us NUFC fans, with them ending any piracy disputes with an official move to gain Premier League TV rights would remove another potential banana skin sent their way.
Not only that, this may coincide with the demise of Richard Keys – a man who openly admitted he ‘wishes it wasn’t us’ being taken over by what looks set to be the richest consortium to ever own a football club.
That said, Richard could always just buy the rights himself if he’s that bothered about his job..