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End of Saudi-Qatar dispute raises hopes for beIN rapprochement

41st Summit of Gulf Cooperation Council in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia on January 05, 2021. (Photo by Anadolu Agency via Getty Images. ROYAL COUNCIL OF SAUDI ARABIA/HANDOUT, QATARI EMIRATE COUNCIL/HANDOUT)

Saudi Arabia has agreed to end its three-and-a-half year blockade of Qatar, raising hopes for positive knock-on effects within the sports industry including an end to a disruption of the business of pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports.

The dispute was also a factor in the failure last year of a bid by Saudi investors to take over English Premier League football club Newcastle United and was a backdrop to rival bids by the countries to host Asia's two biggest continental sports events - the AFC Asian Cup and the Asian Games.

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