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Saudi Arabia permanently cancels licence of Qatar's beIN Sports

Reuters/Dubai
Filed on July 15, 2020 | Last updated on July 15, 2020 at 06.21 am
saudi arabia, bein sports, qatar

The kingdom has also imposed a fine of 10 million riyals on the broadcaster.

Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Competition (GAC) said on Tuesday it had permanently cancelled the licence of Qatari broadcaster beIN Sports, which has been barred from broadcasting in the kingdom since mid-2017 due to a dispute with Qatar.

GAC said in a statement on its website and carried by state television that it was also fining beIN Sports 10 million riyals ($2.7 million) for alleged "monopolistic practices".

There was no immediate comment from Qatari authorities or beIN, which holds regional broadcasting rights for several major global sporting events and entertainment shows.

The broadcaster was initially blocked in Saudi Arabia under a boycott imposed when Riyadh and its allies severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June 2017 over Doha's alleged support of terrorism, a charge Qatar denies.

GAC said it found beIN Sports had "abused its dominant position through several monopolistic practices" related to what it described as an exclusive sports broadcast bundle for the 2016 UEFA European Championship soccer matches.


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