WTO rules “Saudi government behind beoutQ”
May 29, 2020
By Chris Forrester
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has declared that Saudi Arabia-supported sports and programming pirate beoutQ is in breach of international law, in a ruling that will be published formally mid-June.
The WTO has also reportedly ruled, according to The Guardian, that Saudi Arabia’s government is behind beoutQ. The pirate service was started because of a political and economic dispute between Saudi Arabia and its near neighbour Qatar. Qatar is home to Al Jazeera and beIN Sports and beIN Media Group.
The verdict on Saudi Arabia is hardly shocking news, but various sports bodies including FIFA, UEFA and Europe’s top football leagues have attempted to mount legal actions in Saudi Arabia but have had extreme difficulties finding lawyers to act for the them against beoutQ.
beoutQ has seen its signals dropped from Arabsat but still reaches millions of viewers via its IP-based service.
In September last year, eight major football bodies issued a report condemning beoutQ and Arabsat’s carriage of beoutQ’s signals.