One of the biggest overseas broadcast partners of the Premier League has reportedly urged the league authorities to block Newcastle United's proposed takeover bid backed by a Saudi Arabian consortium.
Newcastle United is looking forward to a massive takeover, courtesy of the proposed £300 million deal, after club owner Mike Ashley reached an agreement with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund-led consortium.
Reportedly, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund is controlled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The proposed takeover has faced controversies recently, with the UK-based NGO organisation Amnesty International writing to the Premier League, requesting English football authorities to consider Saudi Arabia's human rights reputation before allowing the deal to happen.
A Qatar-based broadcasting organisation proposed that Saudi Arabia must be held to account for the country's involvement in a pirate network that broadcasts Premier League matches illegally.
According to Express and Star, the Saudi Arabian piracy network is known as beoutQ. It first began its illegal streaming operations in 2017. It is understood that its piracy activities continued, despite repeated warnings from the sports governing bodies across the world.
The Premier League was one of the notable global sporting entities to have called on Saudi Arabia's state satellite operator, Arabsat, and requested them to stop providing a platform for the pirate network.
In July last year, the Premier League admitted to being in contact with nine Saudi Arabian law firms regarding the piracy. However, it was revealed that those law firms refused to act when they were asked to file a copyright complaint against beoutQ.
Chief executive of beIN, Yousef Al-Obaidly wrote to the Premier League clubs, warning them about the potential piracy threats.
The letter reads, "The potential acquirer of Newcastle United (has) caused huge damage to your club's and the Premier League's commercial revenues. The legacy of the illegal service will continue to impact you going forward. When the Premier League season re-commences, all of the league's broadcasters' content will continue to be readily and illegally available via the IPTV streaming functionality on the beoutQ set-top-boxes."
Al-Obaidly is also a board member of Paris Saint-Germain. He also mentioned that amidst the crippling economic effect due to the coronavirus pandemic, football clubs must protect their broadcast revenue.