Legal action against the notorious BeoutQ sports pirates is now inevitable. FIFA, in a statement, stressed that BeoutQ had not received any transmission rights for any of the World Cup football games. BeoutQ is stealing signals from the legitimate broadcaster, Qatar’s beIN Sports Group.
FIFA’s statement said it strongly refuted the false claim that it had authorised BeoutQ to re-transmit the football games. The statement said: “FIFA is aware that a pirate channel named BeoutQ has illegally distributed the opening matches of 2018 FIFA World Cup in the MENA region. FIFA takes infringements of its intellectual property very seriously and is exploring all options to stop the infringement of its rights, including in relation to action against legitimate organisations that are seen to support such illegal activities. We refute that BeoutQ has received any rights from FIFA to broadcast any FIFA event.”
Of course, the short-term prospects of the pirate transmissions ending soon are slim. BeIN Sports has already admitted that it cannot find a Saudi Arabia lawyer prepared to take on its claims against BeoutQ.
This is the latest development in what has been a long-running diplomatic, travel and financial dispute between Saudi Arabia (and Egypt, UAE and Bahrain) against Qatar, and now include superimposed streaming messages running on the pirated images over the legitimate messages from BeIN Sports.
Various reliable reports, including those from the New York Times, say the BeoutQ signals are being carried by Saudi-based Arabsat.
Meanwhile, some of the World Cup games are being shows free-to-air without encryption to MENA viewers. Nasser Al Khelaifi, Chairman and CEO of BeIN Media said: “We are delighted to be able to open up access to the tournament to the multitude of fans who will tune in across region over the coming weeks. This is the first time we have made our content so widely available as we realise how significant and unifying this tournament is for our region.”