Saudi Arabia welcomes FIFA action
July 13, 2018
By Chris Forrester
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media has welcomed the announcement by FIFA that it has engaged local lawyers to take legal action in Saudi Arabia to combat the pirate entity named beoutQ, which continues its illegal piracy of World Cup broadcasts.
The Ministry, seemingly linking the pirated signals from beoutQ to the wholly legitimate broadcasts from beIN Sport, added: “Doing so will supplement the relentless efforts by the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Investment in combatting beoutQ’s activities and beIN’s illegal broadcasting within the country. These efforts and others reinforce the government of Saudi Arabia’s dedication to protecting intellectual property (IP) rights within Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
The ministry said: “While beoutQ’s pirate broadcasts have been available in KSA, we understand that its set-top boxes are also available in, and its pirate broadcasts are targeted at, other nations in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), including Qatar and Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, irresponsible media reports have falsely and unfairly connected KSA with beoutQ’s piracy.”
The Ministry of Media stated that it “understands that such false and unfair connections are the work of beIN Sports, a subsidiary of the Al Jazeera Media Network (Al Jazeera), that has maliciously orchestrated a media smear campaign against KSA. beIN Sports purports to be the exclusive licensee of FIFA and other content owners for KSA and other MENA region countries.”
Saudi Arabia reiterated, in the statement, its calls to “FIFA (and other rights holders) to distance themselves from beIN Sports and find alternative licensees for broadcasting sports in MENA. In KSA at least, Al Jazeera, beIN Sports and their affiliates will never be permitted to broadcast again.”
“[Saudi Arabia] is governed by, and observes and respects the rule of law. If FIFA has legitimate claims supported by reliable evidence, it can expect to receive justice at the hands of the independent courts of our nation consistent with [Saudi] law,” the statement added.