August 22 – Saudi Arabian pirate broadcaster beoutQ is showing no signs of easing up on its copyright theft, stealing every match of the round two of the new Premier League season for broadcast into Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.
With every match of the Premier League season so far broadcast live in the country by beoutQ, the Premier League has issued a strong condemnation of the piracy and says it has written to the European Commission as well as initiating a number of other measures including appointing “legal counsel in Saudi Arabia to begin the process of bringing legal action against the parties involved in this piracy.”
“All 20 Premier League matches played during the first two weekends of the season were broadcast illegally on the channel. “beoutQ” steals content from several legitimate Premier League licensees,” said a Premier League statement.
The Premier League earlier this month renewed its exclusive broadcast rights with Qatari-based beIN SPORTS for a further three years starting from the 2019/20 season. beIN’s rights cover the Middle East and North Africa.
Earlier this week the Saudi Arabian competition authority released a ruling that bans Qatari-based broadcaster beIN Sport from transmitting into the kingdom. The cancelling of the beIN Sport license means that the only way to view top level international football in Saudi Arabia will be illegally via the pirate channel beoutQ.
A Premier League spokesperson said: “The Premier League has written to the European Commission as part of the Sports Rights Owners Coalition. This is just one of the measures we are taking to address this very serious issue.
“We operate a significant anti-piracy programme in a range of countries to protect the copyright of the League and our clubs. Like all content creators and rights owners, our business model is predicated on the ability to market and sell protected rights and we will take all available action to support the investment made in the League by our legitimate broadcast partners.”
France’s LFP also wrote to the EC this week after their Ligue1 matches were pirated. So far the Saudi’s only response to the complaints has been to increase the level of piracy, undermining the sports rights market globally which is increasingly becoming a victim of the geo-political battle being played out in sports.
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