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Qatar’s beIN Sports held the exclusive TV broadcast rights for the Middle East to last month’s UEFA European Football Championships. beIN Sports is accusing Iran’s state-backed broadcaster IRIB of deliberately pirating the signals and ignoring the established protocols over use of rights.
UEFA has separately said that broadcasters which violated its rules would face fines.
Iranian football fans have enjoyed free access to domestic and foreign games for years through the state-run IRIB, which has been repeatedly embroiled in disputes with both local teams and the Soccer Federation of Iran. With beIN Sports’ complaint, it seems that the IRIB’s disputes over broadcasting rights have gone international, claimed MENA web-site Al-Monitor.
This is not the first time that IRIB has ignored other’s rights. Back during the 2014 Football World Cup, rights-holder ESPN initially refused to sell access to IRIB, citing fears that IRIB would damage transmissions from other official MENA broadcasters.