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’Nonsensical’: Qatar’s beIN slams Saudi decision to permanently revoke its licence
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’Nonsensical’: Qatar’s beIN slams Saudi decision to permanently revoke its licence

Tribune News Network
Qatar's beIN Media group called Saudi Arabia's decision on Tuesday to permanently revoke its licence to broadcast in the kingdom as "nonsensical on every single level".
In 2018, Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Competition (GAC) said it was revoking the broadcaster's licence and imposing the 10-million riyal ($2.7 million) fine.
On Tuesday, the GAC said a Saudi administrative court had upheld the decision.
In a statement issued the same day, beIN Sports said “We note the latest pronouncement by the Saudi General Authority for Competition purporting to 'permanently terminate' beIN’s licence to broadcast in Saudi Arabia." 
This decision was arrived at through sham legal proceedings that repeatedly violated beIN’s due process rights at every turn and the decision itself is not only contrary to international law but also the most basic principles of competition law, it added. "The decision is nonsensical on every single level, banning beIN for packaging its rights in the standard way that sports and entertainment broadcasters all around the world do, and indeed as other broadcasters active in the Saudi market also do. Moreover, the very idea that permanently banning a leading competitor from a market could in any way promote competition is plainly absurd. 
"We would also question – as we have for 3 years – how Saudi citizens can watch Premier League matches legally in Saudi Arabia with this “permanent” ban on the Premier League’s licensed broadcaster. Or indeed how Saudi citizens can legally watch most major international sport, and how this fits into Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision. 
"We also note that Saudi Arabia’s state-sponsored pirate channel, beoutQ, bundled rights and removed competition for nearly 3 years; yet the only action the Saudi authorities have taken is to deliberately block FIFA, UEFA, the Premier League and others from taking legal action nine times – in complete breach of WTO rules. Saudi Arabia’s relentless failure to pay any heed to the rule of law or international norms is only harming sports fans in Saudi, and sports organisations all around the world.”

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