Formula 1 launches BeoutQ probe | Security | News | Rapid TV News
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Formula 1 has become the latest sporting body to accuse TV network BeoutQ of illegally transmitting coverage of its events across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Formula 1 logo 24 June 2018Formula 1 said content belonging to regional media rights holder, Qatar-based beIN Sports, had been broadcast by BeoutQ.

The motor racing organisation said “BeoutQ has not acquired any rights from Formula 1 to transmit coverage of the FIA Formula One World Championship.

“Formula 1 takes intellectual property infringement of this nature extremely seriously. We are looking into the issue and those that are involved and will take appropriate action.”

The news comes hot on the heels of accusations that BeoutQ has been illegally broadcasting live football from the FIFA World Cup  and UEFA Champions League, for which beIN also owns the regional rights.

Africa’s football federation CAF, along with sports rights-holding broadcasters beIN Media, NBCUniversal’s Telemundo and the UK’s Eleven Sports have also lately voiced their concerns over their content being stolen by BeoutQ and transmitted across MENA.

UEFA believes the TV network, which claims to be backed by Colombian and Cuban investors and is carried by Riyadh-based satellite operator Arabsat, is based in Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media has, however, denied the claims saying “KSA has relentlessly combatted BeoutQ’s activities within the country,” having “seized thousands of set-top boxes that would otherwise be used to violate intellectual property (IP) in KSA”.

BeoutQ first appeared a year ago, shortly after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and transport links with Qatar over accusations of supporting terrorism. Doha has repeatedly denied the claims.

The political dispute led Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt to ban the reception of Qatar’s beIN Media and its Al Jazeera news arm within their borders.

Saudi minister and royal court advisor Saud al-Qahtani has now called for an end to beIN Sports’ monopoly over the broadcasting rights for major competitions in the Middle East.