Premier League agree new big-money TV deal despite one club’s disapproval

Newcastle United were the only Premier League club to vote against a new big-money TV deal in the Middle East as the fallout from their failed Saudi Arabia-backed takeover continues.

The Premier League and beIN Sports confirmed on Thursday a new three-year deal, worth £367million, beginning in 2022.

It ensures that beIN remain as 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 bid from Saudi Arabia.

No bid was forthcoming however, while Saudi has not been cornered off as a separate market either, which could have offered an alternative solution.

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

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

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “We are pleased to agree a significant deal with beIN SPORTS, who are a longstanding and valued partner.

“They have an outstanding track record of delivering top-quality Premier League content across all its platforms.

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

“Dedicated coverage of every match in the Premier League, as well as comprehensive support programming and digital content, has helped to further grow interest in our clubs and we look forward to continuing our fantastic partnership with beIN.”

Chairman of beIN media group, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, said: “We are delighted to renew our long-established and trusted partnership with the Premier League through to 2025.

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

“beIN is proud to be the Premier League’s official partner across all 24 countries in the Middle East & North Africa, and we look forward to inspiring and exciting the millions of Premier League fans in the region both in the lead-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup and for many years beyond.”

Mike Ashley saw a Saudi-backed takeover fall through

There remains no shortage of enmity between the Toon and the Premier League following the failed Saudi takeover, which saw the state-owned PIF pull out of the deal to buy 80 percent of Newcastle along with Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers in July.

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

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

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

The Premier League promptly hit back, accusing Ashley of releasing “incorrect” information, and insisting there had been no rejection, as the bid had been pulled back in July.

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

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