beIN Sports has been ordered by a Dubai court to pay Saudi Riyals 30 million (about €7m) after losing an appeal against an arbitration ruling which decided that Saudi-based Selevision was owed compensation.
The history of the case is complex and extends back to 2016. The case revolves around a business dispute with Selevision. Selevision’s boss had also allegedly received payments to Saudi-controlled but Dubai-based broadcaster Selevision. It was alleged in the Wall Street Journal that Raed Khusheim, head of Selevision, was the recipient of pre-paid cash that helped fund the pirate broadcasts from beoutQ.
Khusheim, in an email to the WSJ in September 2018, stressed that he had “no direct or indirect link” to beoutQ. He told the newspaper that he was a victim of a “smear campaign” launched by beIN and linked to a business dispute with beIN, of which Selevision used to be the primary distributor in Saudi Arabia. beIN dismissed the accusation as baseless.
An action was brought before the London International Court of Arbitration which had found in Selevision’s favour, and awarded an amount of $7.3 million plus costs of $692,000 be paid by beIN to Selevision.
The dispute ended up in Dubai’s International Financial Centre Court, where the London decision was endorsed, and that the penalties be paid within 30 days.
In response, a statement from beIN MEDIA GROUP, contended that this was not a new decision nor a one-sided decision, as portrayed by some media. “First, the proceedings relate to a standard commercial dispute dating back to 2015, which was ruled upon last year. Second, we were pleased that several of Selevision’s claims were dismissed and that the Tribunal found in beIN’s favour on several counts, resulting in a significantly lower award than Selevision had claimed. We are currently considering all available legal options regarding the Tribunal’s overall decision as we strongly believe that we have valid legal grounds. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time,” it concluded