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Arabsat denies giving signal to BeoutQ, demands apology from FIFA

Seven independent satellite communications experts confirm that its satellite frequencies had not

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MUMBAI: A few days ago FIFA accused the Saudi Arabia's satellite operator Arabsat of being involved in the act of transmitting pirated signals of the World Cup to BeoutQ. Arabsat president and CEO Khalid Balkheyour has strongly denied the involvement. Instead, Arabsat is demanding an apology from FIFA for its allegation.

In a letter it wrote to the body on 15 July, it said that seven independent satellite communications experts confirm that its satellite frequencies had not been used by BeoutQ. Balkheyour said, “Arabsat has always been confident that our satellite network has not been used by BeoutQ.”

“Nevertheless, we undertook a very costly investigation to eliminate any doubts and to provide evidence to share with FIFA and the world. Arabsat has been deeply offended and harmed by beIN’s and FIFA’s attacks,” he declared. “Now that FIFA has been proven wrong, it should apologise for making such offensive statements” he added.

BeoutQ users point their dishes to 26 degrees East, which either means an Arabsat slot, or its neighbour (at 25.5 deg East) Eutelsat 25B and its spacecraft partner Es’Hail 1. FIFA claims that BeoutQ was operating on Arabsat frequency 12341 MHz (and normally home to MBC ‘Pro Sports’ transmissions) for several World Cup matches and also 11996 MHz.

The experts showed that that frequency carried no video content at all dates and times mentioned by FIFA. Arabsat’s expert also added that blocking the frequency had no effect on BeoutQ’s pirate World Cup broadcasts, and that only legitimate broadcasts (e.g., BBC, Sky News and CNBC) were available on that. Saudi Arabia denies BeoutQ as an entity of the country.

BeoutQ users need to buy a dedicated ‘DreamBox’ satellite decoder receiver (for about 430 Saudi Riyals-[€98.60]). The marketing offer promises that buyers will also receive all of MBC’s (legitimate) sports channels and tournaments like Champions League, Premier League, Fifa World Cup’18, La Liga, Bundes Liga and many more.

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