FA Cup Newcastle United

FA Threatens Legal Action Against Saudi-Owned Channel For Illegal Broadcast Of Newcastle Matches

June 1, 2020

The Football Association have written to KSA Sports, the state-owner sports channel threatening a legal action over the illegal broadcast of vintage FA Cup matches involving Newcastle United.

The English football’s governing body further accused the channel of stealing FA footage to broadcast matches from the Alan Shearer era.

The letter states this is a clear infringement of the FA’s property rights despite the broadcasted matches being old games.

A letter seen by The Times, was also copied to the Saudi government and the Premier Leagueand it could prove damaging to the Saudi-backed consortium looking to complete a £300m takeover of the north-east club this year.

The letter reads: ‘It has come to our attention that KSA Sports is engaged in the unauthorised and illegal broadcast of extracts from the matches (amongst other sports content) in the territory of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

‘As you have neither sought nor obtained permission from the FA or any of its authorised licensees to use this content on your channels, your present use is an infringement of the FA’s rights.

‘Broadcast piracy is a significant concern for all rights holders and content providers and failure to promptly take affirmative steps will cause significant financial and reputational harm to us.’

The FA further states that their lawyers will take legal proceedings if KSA Sports do not say they will cease all infringements by June 2.

The fate of the proposed Newcastle takeover, which would see 80& of the club owned by Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund, is currently in the hands of the Premier League and its owners’ and directors’ test.

The Saudi takeover of Newcastle would mean the club is effectively under the control of the country’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

FA Cup Newcastle United