“Global piracy will burst media rights ‘bubble’,” according to beIN Media Group’s CEO Yousef Al-Obaidly, speaking at this week’s Leaders Week Sport Business Summit in London, warning the audience that the “glorious media rights bubble” is about to burst.
BeIN’s sport channels have been the hardest hit by the emergence of pirate outfit beoutQ that pirates all major sports events. “While most people here think they’ve got their house in order, the truth is that our industry is completely unprepared.”
“I’m here to tell you how the endless growth of sports rights is over,” he said. “Not only that, but in certain cases, rights values are going drop off a cliff, and the very economic model of our industry is going to be rewritten.
“If you don’t get your house in order and quickly, the sports rights market will disintegrate beyond recognition. In fact, winter is already here. And I can tell you that as the largest buyer of sports rights in the world, because of beoutQ in Mena and piracy generally, we now regard all sports rights as non-exclusive and our commercial offers will reflect that.
“I am also confident that other broadcasters – of all shapes and sizes – will make similar devaluations, while many once-premium rights will remain unsold.
“In all of this, beoutQ is clearly the most shocking example. Ten live HD sports channels, distributed over satellite combined with an IPTV function; best in class set-top boxes with their own branding and marketing, tailored advertising, sophisticated subscription model and customer care services on social media; all being pirated by other pirates around the world – fully controlled and financed by a State.
“As a rights-holder, it is your worst nightmare. I said earlier that you cannot replicate the live experience of sport – well, beoutQ has. Saudi Arabia has poured petrol onto the fire and they are now turning attention to embedding an illegal IPTV culture.”