May 13 – The on-going battle against rogue Saudi Arabia-based pirate broadcaster BeoutQ that has seen the Saudi channel steal thousands of hours of sports and entertainment programming is causing government concern with a committee of UK Parliamentary MPs now calling for a “robust attack” on the channel.
While most of the talk has been around the theft of sports rights – and viewed as a Saudi-supported third party geo-politically motivated attack on the pan-regional Qatari-owned and dominant beIN Sport network of channels – the Saudis at BeoutQ have increased their piracy to pretty much every form of TV programming and into the movie sector.
It was revealed in the UK parliament that BeoutQ steals content from “100 UK based TV channels”, including the public broadcaster BBC.
Giles Watling, a Member of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (“DCMS”) Select Committee asked the Secretary of State: “What is the Government doing to prevent them [beoutQ and Arabsat] from misappropriating our industries?” In response, Jeremy Wright QC, DCMS Secretary of State, confirmed that a number of UK government departments are “pursuing this matter” and “the [UK] embassy in Riyadh is speaking to the Saudis on this subject.”
“If we want to see good quality sport, we have to make sure that people are able to protect those rights so they can carry on delivering it to us; and those that are seeking to undermine those rights of course undermine that process. So that’s why we take an interest, it’s why we understand and sympathise with the concerns the Premier League and others have expressed and as I say there is activity underway,” said Wright.
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