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UEFA seeks new anti-piracy service provider

Europe’s football governing body UEFA has issued a tender for a new anti-piracy service provider.

The move comes in the wake of an investigation into Saudi-operated pirate operation BeoutQ from the World Trade Organisation and at a time when illegal piracy of sports events is rife.

In light of this, UEFA is looking to improve its stance against piracy with the assistance of an intellectual property rights management company. The RFP will run until September 4.

Specifically, UEFA said that the RFP will relate to its major competitions: Euro 2024; European Qualifiers for Euro 2024 and the FIFA World Cup 2026; the UEFA Nations League and Nations League finals; the Champions League and Uefa Super Cup 2021-24 cycle; and the Europa League and new Europa Conference League 2021-24.

In a statement, the governing body said: “UEFA takes the protection of its intellectual property rights, as well as the interests of its media partners, very seriously.”

In spite of the state-sponsored activity of BeoutQ, it is not believed that this will become the norm going forward.

Speaking on Digital TV Europe’s TV Watch podcast, Kieron Sharp, CEO of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), said: “I don’t actually see it becoming a problem in the coming years. What we’ve seen all along is some organised crime groups very much involved in many countries with piracy and stealing content right across the IP industries… but we see people forming into groups that are organised and committing crime.

“I see [piracy] purely as criminals making money and not as something that’s going to become a state issue going forward.”

Tags: BeoutQ, piracy, UEFA