The staff have lost their jobs at the network’s headquarters in Doha following a two-year diplomatic and trade row with Riyadh that has resulted in BeIN losing access to its biggest market in the region, Saudi Arabia.
Since mid-2017, the Qatari media company has been dealing with illegal broadcaster, BeoutQ, pirating its content on an industrial scale and alledlegy transmitting via Arabsat.
The rights sports properties stolen have included the Fifa World Cup, Uefa Champions League and Premier League, for which BeIN paid for exclusive access to across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Last week, a French court ruled that Arabsat is a signal-carrier for beoutQ, but also that BeIN Media Group had failed to show evidence of “clear and illegal disruption” as a result of that activity. As a result of this ruling, both Arabsat and BeIN Sports claimed victory.
On 17 June, OSN announced it was closing down its Pehla entertainment channel, which carries the last of its sports transmissions, as a result of piracy. OSN had already shut down five of its six sports channels back in March.
“Illegal streaming sites, pirate IPTV decoders within OSN’s licensed territories, has made it difficult for OSN to continue offering Pehla,” OSN said in a statement.