Saudi pirate broadcaster beoutQ has ‘stolen’ the opening games of Premier League and Ligue 1 from the official licence holder BeIn Sports.
The broadcaster said that three digital security, media solutions and technology companies, Cisco Systems, Nagra and Overon, have “independently and definitively confirmed” that the Saudi-based pirate beoutQ is being distributed on the satellite provider Arabsat.
“This technical evidence establishes beyond any doubt the involvement of Riyadh-based Arabsat in the most widespread piracy of sports broadcasting that the world has ever seen,” according to a statement from BeIn Sports.
Reports presented by Cisco, Nagra and Overon explain in technical detail how Arabsat satellites have been, and still are, transmitting beoutQ’s pirate channels.
Despite demands from bodies across sport for Arabsat to end its support of this piracy, the Riyadh-based satellite provider has refused to do so, even though it has the ability to simply switch off beoutQ’s transmissions on Arabsat satellites.
Before the Saudi-led blockade against Qatar, Arabsat routinely switched off pirate operations in accordance with international law, “yet the political motivations behind its refusal to end beoutQ’s theft of Qatar-headquartered BeIn Sports are manifestly clear. In addition to pirating the world’s most valuable sports content, it is no coincidence that beoutQ also distributes a stream of anti-Qatar propaganda,” BeIn Sports said in a statement.
“The political games being played by Arabsat, beoutQ and its Saudi backers in stealing our content have consequences that affect the future of world sport, not just BeIn Sports,” said Tom Keaveny, Managing Director of beIN Media Group, MENA.
“That is why the international sports community – from FIFA to UEFA, Formula 1 to world tennis, together with a host of other global broadcasters – have all taken a stand and publicly condemned this Saudi-based piracy. beoutQ and its Saudi backers seem to think they can operate beyond the reproach of the rule of law and the international norms that everyone else respects.”
“The evidence is irrefutable: the illegal channel beoutQ is backed by Saudi nationals and openly promoted by leading Saudi figures; it is operating with the tacit consent of the Saudi government and its World Cup pirate feeds were viewed on public screens under the responsibility of Saudi authorities across the country; it is broadcast on the Riyadh-based satellite provider Arabsat; on a daily basis it is carrying out – in broad daylight – a mass-scale theft of highly valuable intellectual property rights,” said Sophie Jordan, Executive Director of Legal Affairs – General Legal Counsel of beIN Media Group.
“It is time for Arabsat to switch off the pirate transmissions it has supported for almost a year; it is time for Arabsat to be made accountable for facilitating the largest pay tv piracy organization in the history of pay-TV.”
Last month, Arabsat, sought an apology from FIFA for beoutQ piracy allegations as FIFA had accused Arabsat of involvement in the transmission of the World Cup pirated signals to BeoutQ.
At the time Arabsat said that “an investigation by seven independent satellite communications experts has found no evidence that Arabsat satellite frequencies were used for illegal broadcasts of the World Cup by beoutQ.”
“Arabsat has always been confident that our satellite network has not been used by beoutQ,” said Khalid Balkheyour, Arabsat’s CEO.
“Nevertheless, we undertook a very costly investigation to eliminate any doubts and to provide evidence to share with FIFA and the world.”