Lebanese court refuses to consider World Cup coverage lawsuit

Lebanon's Court of Urgent Matters has said that it has no jurisdiction to consider a lawsuit filed by pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports against state broadcaster Tele Liban over coverage of football’s Fifa World Cup.

BeIN Sports, which has rights to the tournament in the Middle East and North Africa, complained after Tele Liban began broadcasting matches without authorisation.

The chairman of Tele Liban's board of directors, Talal Makdessi, said that the state-owned station would continue “to defend the rights of the Lebanese” in providing coverage of the tournament on free-to-air television, according to the Daily Star newspaper.

The Lebanese government brokered a deal with cable-television provider Sama to show coverage of football’s 2014 Fifa World Cup in the country for free. The country’s ministry of telecommunications agreed to pay Sama $3m (€2.2m) for the rights, to compensate the provider for showing the games for free. Sama had planned to charge viewers to watch coverage of the entire tournament after acquiring exclusive rights from beIN Sports in the country. Tele Liban was not included in the deal.