EPL’s Saudi piracy concerns as Newcastle takeover assessed

The English Premier League has to decide whether to approve Saudi Arabia’s takeover of Newcastle while concerned that piracy of its broadcasts from the kingdom poses a “significant risk” to the competition’s revenue.

The league wrote to the Office of the United States Trade Representative in February complaining about the bootlegging of live match coverage by the Saudi-based beoutQ service, according to newly released documents.

Having received submissions about beoutQ’s conduct from global soccer bodies, also including FIFA, the American government confirmed on Wednesday in its annual report on “notorious markets for counterfeiting and piracy” that Saudi Arabia would remain on its “Priority Watch List.”

The Premier League’s own grievances with the Saudis are a further complication for the lawyers
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