Qatar-based pay TV operator BeIN Media has slammed Arabsat’s sponsorship of today’s MENA Anti-Piracy Conference in Dubai because it claims the Saudi Arabia-based satellite operator is facilitating the transmission of a service that deliberately pirates premium sports transmissions to which it holds the exclusive rights.
According to BeIN Media, Saudi-based BeoutQ has also recently launched an illicit IPTV app that provides access to hundreds of pirated channels around the world, including not only BeIN channels but the services of other major global brands.
BeIN says Arabsat has refused to take down the service and denies liability, despite it and other rights holders providing evidence.
BeIN has been supported in its battle with BeoutQ by rights holders including UEFA, Spain’s La Liga and by antipiracy association the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA).
The BeoutQ service launched last year after Saudi Arabia after other Gulf states initiated a boycott of Qatar that prevented BeIN Media from distributing its service in the countries concerned, effectively breaking BeIN’s exclusive hold on rights to key football competitions.
Four countries – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt – banned BeIN Media following the breaking off of diplomatic relations last June. The UAE subsequently reinstated the service to existing subscribers only.