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French football league takes aim at BeoutQ

France’s Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) has become the latest sporting body to line-up behind Qatar-based pay TV outfit BeIN Media’s campaign to combat what it sees as a deliberately targeted attack on it by a Saudi Arabia-based pirate broadcaster and streamer.

Following the Ligue 1 Conforama season kick off, the LfP confirmed that its matches were being broadcast illegally by BeoutQ. The French sporting body has sent a letter to the EC’s trade directorate-general seeking support for investigating the pirate streamer and has demanded that pressure be placed on Saudi Arabia to act.

The LFP has also written to Saudi-based satellite operator Arabsat, which BeIN Media accuses of supporting BeoutQ by allowing its signal to be distributed on Arabsat satellites.

“The LFP continues to take all necessary action to defend its interests and the interests of its broadcasters,” said Didier Quillot, executive director-general at the LFP.

“Last January we participated in the creation of the Association for the Protection of Sporting Programs (APPS) with the broadcasters, the professional leagues and the sports’ federal bodies. Pirate broadcasts attack directly at the economic heart of the sport and we must unite in our struggle against this practice. We ask Arabsat and Saudi Arabia to intervene to stop the piracy of our content.”

This week BeIN Media enlisted the support of technology companies Cisco, Nagra and Overon in its campaign to force Arabsat to stop broadcasting the BeoutQ signals. BeIN Media maintains that BeoutQ’s broadcasts are supported by the Saudi authorities as part of its campaign to isolate and blockade Qatar.