New website launched today discloses mass dossier of evidence against the Saudi Arabia-supported piracy operation that has stolen the commercial rights of sports and entertainment brands for 18 months

DOHA, LONDON, PARIS, NEW YORK, SINGAPORE – 16 January 2019 – A ‘reveal all’ website has been published today by beIN MEDIA GROUP which publicly exposes the industrial scale theft of world sports and entertainment carried out by beoutQ – the Saudi Arabia-based pirate TV channel – and Arabsat – the Riyadh-headquartered satellite provider – for the past 18 months.

The website https://beoutq.tv places out in the open the mountain of evidence against beoutQ, and will be regularly updated as legal actions against Saudi Arabia continue to mount, so that the pirate operation is held to account. The website includes materials on where beoutQ is based, who is behind it, and – most shockingly – sets out in detail all the commercial rights that have been stolen from organisations across the world of sport and entertainment since beoutQ first appeared.

In August 2017, beoutQ was launched in Saudi Arabia and since its inception it has illegally broadcast premium sports and entertainment content worth billions of dollars. While the pirate operation started off as a website that was geo-blocked to Saudi Arabia, it has developed into the most sophisticated piracy operation that the world has ever seen:- inserting its own logos and branding; selling subscriptions; carrying separate advertising; and even adding its own commentary. Through 10 encrypted channels, beoutQ illegally broadcasts live sports every day, stealing content from every major sports rights holder in the world including FIFA, UEFA, the Premier League, LaLiga and other football leagues; to the NFL, the NBA, world tennis, Formula 1 and the Olympics. Every game of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, which is currently being hosted by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and features 24 national teams across Asia, has been broadcast illegally on beoutQ.

In addition, beoutQ gives access to a treasure trove of entertainment content through embedded IPTV apps, through which its set-top boxes stream pirated live television and on-demand movie content from all over the world providing illegal access to over 10,000 major international movies and up to 35,000 TV show episodes in different languages. Of most concern, beoutQ is now being pirated by other pirates around the world with reported accessibility of beoutQ in places as far afield as London, Geneva and Florida USA.

Pressure intensified on Saudi Arabia in August when three of the world’s leading digital security, media solutions and technology companies, Cisco Systems, NAGRA and Overon, independently and definitively confirmed that beoutQ is being distributed on the Riyadh-based satellite provider Arabsat.

Since then, a significant number of legal cases have been directly brought against Saudi Arabia for backing beoutQ. In December, the World Trade Organisation in Geneva approved a request for the establishment of a WTO panel to adjudicate on the beoutQ case brought against the Kingdom for violating intellectual property rights. In October, beIN commenced an international investment arbitration claiming over $1 billion in damages against the Kingdom on the basis of beoutQ. And recently, FIFA, the AFC and other sports rights holders have disclosed that they will be launching legal action in Saudi Arabia very shortly. Last year, for the first time in more than 10 years, the US Government placed Saudi Arabia on its 2018 Special 301 Watch List noting concerns over the deteriorating environment for the protection of intellectual property.

Yousef Al-Obaidly, Chief Executive Officer, beIN MEDIA GROUP, said:For the past 18 months beoutQ has brazenly stolen on a daily basis the commercial rights of almost every major sports rights holder and every movie studio around the world; and attempted to sabotage our broadcast business at the same time. We have a very simple message on behalf of the whole sports and entertainment industry:- we will not cease our fight against this unprecedented piracy operation until it is eradicated.

Tom Keaveny, Managing Director, beIN MENA, said:What started out as a concerted and targeted campaign against beIN has now morphed into the largest commercial theft that’s ever been seen in the world of sport and entertainment, affecting everyone from the biggest organisations in sport to Hollywood movie studios and international broadcasters. This Saudi-supported plague of piracy represents an existential threat to the economic model of the industry because every day that beoutQ exists piracy is becoming more normalised across the world. We, at beIN, will not let that happen and this new website of evidence shines a light on the shocking extent of beoutQ’s ongoing theft. Piracy cannot pay; the international rule of law should apply to all, not the few.”

-Ends-

ABOUT beIN MEDIA GROUP

beIN MEDIA GROUP, chaired by Nasser Al-Khelaifi, is an independent company established in 2014 with a vision to become the leading global sport and entertainment network. Today, beIN distributes an unrivalled array of entertainment, live sport action, and major international events across 5 continents, in 43 countries, and in 7 different languages spanning Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

beIN MEDIA GROUP’s sports network, beIN SPORTS, holds the single largest portfolio of sports rights of any global broadcaster. It covers the best and most exciting sports in the world including football (all top global leagues and competitions), basketball (NBA and Euroleague), motor sports (Formula 1 and Moto GP), American football (NFL), cricket, rugby, tennis, cycling, badminton, volleyball, college sports and more. beIN MEDIA GROUP also provides subscribers in the MENA region and Turkey with a vast portfolio of proprietary and third-party entertainment channels through beIN and Digiturk platforms. Through its iconic MIRAMAX film studio, beIN also holds an extensive library of legendary Hollywood blockbusters and a growing presence in series and movies production.

beIN MEDIA GROUP uses the latest technology to ensure that its viewers receive thrilling entertainment in high definition, on a platform that suits them best. beIN recently launched the first 24-hour 4K channel in the MENA region – beIN 4K – that broadcasts the biggest sports matches and events exclusively in breathtaking 4K quality. It also offers over-the-top live (OTT) broadcasting and catch-up services across all devices though beIN CONNECT.

For more information on beIN MEDIA GROUP, please contact: mediaoffice@bein.net


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About the Asia Video Industry Association
The Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) is the trade association for the video industry and ecosystem in Asia Pacific. It serves to make the video industry stronger and healthier through promoting the common interests of its members. AVIA is the interlocutor for the industry with governments across the region, leads the fight against video piracy and provides insight into the video industry through reports and conferences aimed to support a vibrant video industry. AVIA evolved from Casbaa in 2018.

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Nirav Haji
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Email:       niravhaji@asiavia.org