Qatar-based pay TV operator BeIN Media Group has set up a ‘reveal all’ website to expose what it describes as “the industrial scale theft” of sports and entertainment content by Saudi Arabia-based pirate outfit BeoutQ, which BeIN alleges is supported by the Saudi government.
The website, https://beoutq.tv, sets out what BeIN says is a “mountain of evidence” against the pirate outfit.
BeIN alleges that BeoutQ was launched in Saudi Arabia in August 2017 to illegally broadcast premium sports and entertainment rights.
Originally a website geoblocked to Saudi Arabia to provide an alternative to BeIN Media as part of the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar, BeIN says that BeoutQ has since grown to become “the most sophisticated piracy operation that the world has ever seen” with 10 encrypted channels illegally broadcasting content stolen from sports rightsholders including IFA, UEFA, the Premier League, La Liga and other football leagues, the NFL, the NBA, world tennis, Formula 1 and the Olympics.
In addition, says BeIN, BeoutQ, has provided access to pirated live TV and on-demand movie content including 10,000 major international movies and up to 35,000 TV show episodes in different languages.
BeIN says that BeoutQ’s threat is no longer confined to the Gulf region, with access now available in markets including the UK, Switzerland and the US.
The World Trade Organisation has approved the creation of a WTO panel to adjudicate Qatar’s case against Saudi Arabia, even though the pair do not have diplomatic relations, while BeIN has launched an an international investment arbitration claiming over US$1 billion in damages from the Kingdom.
Yousef Al-Obaidly, CEO, beIN Media Group, said: “For the past 18 months beoutQ has brazenly stolen on a daily basis the commercial rights of almost every major sports rights holder and every movie studio around the world; and attempted to sabotage our broadcast business at the same time. We have a very simple message on behalf of the whole sports and entertainment industry – we will not cease our fight against this unprecedented piracy operation until it is eradicated.”
Tom Keaveny, managing director, beIN MENA, said: “What started out as a concerted and targeted campaign against beIN has now morphed into the largest commercial theft that’s ever been seen in the world of sport and entertainment, affecting everyone from the biggest organisations in sport to Hollywood movie studios and international broadcasters. This Saudi-supported plague of piracy represents an existential threat to the economic model of the industry because every day that beoutQ exists piracy is becoming more normalised across the world. We, at beIN, will not let that happen and this new website of evidence shines a light on the shocking extent of beoutQ’s ongoing theft. Piracy cannot pay; the international rule of law should apply to all, not the few.”
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17th November 2019