Saudi Arabia lifts ban on beIN Sports


Palak Arora 09/10/21 #copyright #patent #trademarks #infringement #intellectualproperty #IPR #IPRinfo #IPlaw #IPRrights #Trademarkclickcom #IP #entrepreneur #beIN #beINSports #PremierLeagueClubs #beoutQ #SaudiArabia #WTO #Newcastle #Qatar

Saudi Arabia has finally lifted its four-year-long ban on beIN Sports. This not only means that famous matches including Premier League, Uefa, and Fifa will soon be broadcasted legally in the nation again but could also have significant ramifications for a Saudi-backed Newcastle United takeover.

Last year a proposed deal amounting to £300 million hit the rocks over the Premier League’s view that the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) was de facto the State of Saudi. However, PIF was hoping to acquire approximately 80 percent stake in Newcastle. Although this is the subject of an ongoing legal dispute which will be resolved in an arbitration hearing in the month of January 2022.

The beIN is based in Qatar. It has remained a major opponent to the Newcastle deal. Everyone pointed out to the Premier League Clubs that the ban in Saudi Arabia and the piracy of its content were being the two huge reasons behind the massive damage to sports rights holders.

Mr. Yousef al-Obaidly is the Chief Executive of the beIN. He wrote to Premier League Clubs last year, “The Saudis are accused of the facilitation of the near three years theft of the Premier League’s commercial rights and in turn your club’s commercial revenues through its backing of the huge-scale beoutQ pirate service”. After this letter, the World Trade Organization passed a ruling stating: “The actions of the Saudi state are in breach of international law where they are allowing an illegal streaming service beoutQ to operate in the country.”

The Saudis have finally agreed to allow beIN Sports back after several weeks of negotiations. When beIN informed of the Saudis regarding the illegal streaming services, they also gave their commitment to removing all pirate websites. It is also reported that Saudi Arabia is also in active discussions over beIN’s claims for damages amounting to more than $1 billion due to piracy streaming. As it is said “All is well that ends well”, it is all hoped that everything will end well between the two.

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