By Paul Nicholson
January 22 – Following the launch of a website detailing the broadcast piracy of Saudi Arabia-based beoutQ, the Premier League has issued a statement saying it has appointed legal counsel to fight the copyright theft and reassuring rightsholders it will work with them to stop the illegal broadcast.
The website, launched by beIN Media Group at https://beoutq.tv, exposes the “industrial scale theft “ of live sports broadcastst bythe Saudi -based pirate channel. beooutQ has now been operational for 18 months and is transmitted via Riyadh-headquartered satellite provider Arabsat.
In a press release beIN Media said that the site will continue to be updated as the “mountain of evidence against beoutQ grows.
“The website https://beoutq.tv places out in the open the mountain of evidence against beoutQ, and will be regularly updated as legal actions against Saudi Arabia continue to mount, so that the pirate operation is held to account. The website includes materials on where beoutQ is based, who is behind it, and – most shockingly – sets out in detail all the commercial rights that have been stolen from organisations across the world of sport and entertainment since beoutQ first appeared,” said the statement.
What started as predominantly regional piracy has now spread into a global plague of copyright infringement as beIN Media highlight that “beoutQ is now being pirated by other pirates around the world with reported accessibility of beoutQ in places as far afield as London, Geneva and Florida USA.”
The threat to the global sports broadcast model is obvious and for football in particular is becoming particulalry acute as TV buyers reassess the value of premium rights that are being stolen in their individual markets.
Yousef Al-Obaidly, Chief Executive Officer, beIN MEDIA GROUP, said: “For the past 18 months beoutQ has brazenly stolen on a daily basis the commercial rights of almost every major sports rights holder and every movie studio around the world; and attempted to sabotage our broadcast business at the same time. We have a very simple message on behalf of the whole sports and entertainment industry:- we will not cease our fight against this unprecedented piracy operation until it is eradicated.”
The Premier League in its statement said: “Like other sports and content providers, our model is predicated on the ability to market, sell and protect commercial rights.
“The broadcasters and licensees who acquire these rights legitimately, like beIN Media Group, make our competition available to fans across the world, and their investment underpins our ability to support Premier League clubs in continuously working to make the competition as compelling as possible.
“The League has already appointed legal counsel in Saudi Arabia to begin the process of bringing action against the parties involved in this piracy.
“We have also made representations through the Sports Rights Owners Coalition to the European Commission and made the UK Government aware of the issue.
“As the legitimate Premier League rights holder across the Middle East and North Africa, we will continue to work with beIN Media Group to bring this highly organised and sophisticated illegal broadcast piracy to an end.”
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