English Premier League has initiated the process of bringing legal proceedings against pirate broadcast network BeoutQ in Saudi Arabia.
The league, to address the “very serious issue”, has appointed a legal counsel in Saudi Arabia. It is also filing a complaint with the European Commission.
The Premier League has accused BeoutQ of stealing content from a number of Premier League licensees . “The Premier League strongly condemns the illegal broadcast piracy of its matches currently taking place in Saudi Arabia and available in multiple territories throughout the Middle East by an illegal pirate channel called ‘beoutQ’,” the Premier League had sadi said. “The illegitimate Saudi-based pirate channel has illegally broadcast all 20 Premier League fixtures from the opening two rounds of this season. The pirate broadcasts, apparently being distributed from Saudi Arabia, have made the games available throughout the Middle East region.”
“The Premier League has written to the European Commission as part of the Sports Rights Owners Coalition. This is just one of the measures we are taking to address this very serious issue,” a Premier League spokesperson has reportedly revealed.
“We operate a significant anti-piracy programme in a range of countries to protect the copyright of the league and our clubs. Like all content creators and rights owners, our business model is predicated on the ability to market and sell protected rights and we will take all available action to support the investment made in the League by our legitimate broadcast partners.”
The Premier League media rights holder for the Saudi Arabia region, BeIN was fined $2.6 million by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Competition. The Qatar-based broadcaster’s regional license was also cancelled.
BeoutQ, the channel accused of broadcasting pirated sports content including the FIFA World Cup finals earlier this year, has grown to 10 different channels in a year’s time. Other than FIFA and Premier League, French soccer’s Ligue 1 is also examining the possibility of legal proceedings against the channel after six of the ten games from the division’s opening weekend were broadcast on the illegal pirate network.