Television

FIFA legal action against BeoutQ for WC piracy

FIFA legal action against BeoutQ for WC piracy

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MUMBAI: FIFA will be taking legal action against Saudi Arabia-based BeoutQ, a pirated TV service operating in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), which continues its illegal piracy of 2018 FIFA World Cup broadcasts, according to an official statement, carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

This will be the first time where FIFA has recognised Saudi Arabia’s role in the service. FIFA has urged the authorities of Saudi Arabia and of the different countries where these illegal activities have been observed to support it in the fight against piracy.

Saudi Arabia has consistently denied its involvement with BeoutQ and the country’s media ministry released a statement last week condemning suggestions that it has been complicit in the operation of the service. However, BeoutQ broadcasts from a Riyadh-based Arabsat satellite.

According to FIFA’s official statement, “It is observed that the pirate entity named ‘beoutQ’ continues to use illegally the 2018 FIFA World Cup broadcast signal. Accordingly, FIFA has engaged counsel to take legal action in Saudi Arabia and is working alongside other sports rights owners that have also been affected to protect its interest.”

Although FIFA has now acknowledged the Arab nation’s contribution to BeoutQ, it has also called on other countries to join the fight against piracy. One of the biggest victims of BeoutQ has been Qatar-back broadcasting giant BeIN Sports, which has had its World Cup feeds stolen throughout the tournament.

Last week, tennis governing bodies also issued a joint statement condemning BeoutQ's pirated coverage of major tennis tournaments across the MENA region over the past year.

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