UEFA calls BeoutQ piracy a “significant threat” to European football | Security | News | Rapid TV News
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European football’s governing body is the latest in a growing line of organisations to call time on Saudi-based pirate TV channel BeoutQ for illegally distributing its sports properties.
World Cup Russia Red Square 18 June 2018

It follows similar accusations from global football body FIFA and its African counterpart CAF earlier this week, along with sports rights-holding broadcasters beIN Media, NBCUniversal’s Telemundo and the UK’s Eleven Sports.

“We are aware that a pirate channel, named beoutQ based in Saudi Arabia, has illegally distributed the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League throughout the 2017/18 season, including the UEFA Champions League Final in Kyiv on 26 May,” UEFA said in a statement.

“UEFA considers that illegal piracy of live football, particularly on the scale of that being carried out by beoutQ poses a significant threat to European football. The protection of our intellectual property is key to UEFA and we will take the necessary steps to address the issue in order to enforce and protect the rights granted to beIN Sports, including through engaging with relevant satellite carriers in the region. For the avoidance of any doubt, BeoutQ has received no rights whatsoever from UEFA to broadcast any UEFA event.”

BeoutQ channels are allegedly broadcast via regional satellite operator Arabsat, which is headquartered in Riyadh and part-owned by the Saudi government. beIN Media, which owns the rights to broadcast not only UEFA but also FIFA and CAF football across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), has repeatedly requested Arabsat to stop BeoutQ’s transmissions.

Earlier this week FIFA accused beoutQ of illegally distributing World Cup matches, however the network has continued to broadcast every match from the month-long football tournament in Russia.

Although the TV network claims to hail from Cuba and Columbia, beIN investigations reportedly link it back to Saudi Arabia’s Selevision Company.

The pirate network launched in August 2017, soon after the start of the Qatar blockade by Saudi Arabia and three other countries in the region. As a result of the ongoing political row, beIN Media and its Sports channels have been banned from Saudi Arabian homes.

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