Football bodies unite to condemn beoutQ

Fifa, along with a group of continental governing bodies and European leagues, has today (Tuesday) issued its latest statement hitting out at the activities of pirate channel beoutQ.

The joint statement comes from world football’s governing body, European governing body Uefa and the Asian Football Confederation, as well as the English Premier League, Spain’s LaLiga and the German Football League (DFL).

The statement comes after the Premier League last week reiterated its support of beIN Media Group for its ongoing campaign against beoutQ.

The Premier League spoke out after beIN announced the launch of a ‘reveal all’ website designed to publicly expose what it claims is the industrial scale theft of world sports and entertainment carried out by the Saudi Arabia-based pirate channel and Arabsat, the Riyadh-headquartered satellite provider, over the past 18 months.

Earlier this month, the AFC condemned beoutQ for its broadcasts of the ongoing Asian Cup national team tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

The joint statement released today failed to mention Saudi Arabia by name. It read: “Collectively, we, as rights-holders in various football competitions, condemn the pirate entity beoutQ, which continues to abuse the operations of rights holders and legitimate broadcasters through its persistent and illegal screening of events for which it has made no effort to secure the rights; the latest example of which is the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.

“The activities of beoutQ are a clear and flagrant breach of our intellectual property rights. beoutQ’s piracy harms not only us, as rights-holders, but also our legitimate licensees and, ultimately, the fans of our competitions. Money raised from the sale of TV rights helps us to support the participants, as well as to develop and grow the sports of which we are guardians from the grassroots up.  Piracy kills that investment.

“We will work closely with partners and relevant authorities to enforce and uphold our intellectual property rights and put an end to this widespread piracy issue for everyone’s benefit.”

Along with sports content, beoutQ has also been providing entertainment programming. BeIN claims it has found 10,000 major international movies and TV series on beoutQ’s apps, but the entertainment industry has mainly remained quiet in response.

“The real frustration that we’ve got is that the significant engine of Hollywood has not stood up and said, ‘Look this is wrong, it needs to stop, and we are going to put our advocacy muscle behind it,’” Tom Keaveny, beIN’s managing director in the Middle East, told the Variety website yesterday (Monday).

“We just want the studios to step up and have the same level of indignation and respect for their own IP that we have for their IP.”

Read: BeIN fights back against beoutQ, and calls for rights-holder support