Saudi ministry welcomes Fifa’s BeoutQ action

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media has said that it welcomes Fifa’s legal action against the operators of the BeoutQ pirate channel.

The service has been showing live coverage of the 2018 Fifa World Cup despite not holding any rights to the tournament.

Pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports has rights for the tournament across the Middle East and North Africa. However, the broadcaster is blocked in Saudi Arabia due to a trade and diplomatic boycott imposed on Qatar last year.

Fifa said earlier this week that it had “engaged counsel to take legal action in Saudi Arabia and is working alongside other sports-rights owners that have also been affected to protect its interest”.

The Saudi ministry said that Fifa’s move would “supplement the relentless efforts by the KSA Ministry of Commerce and Investment in combating BeoutQ’s activities”.

It added: “These efforts and others reinforce the Government of Saudi Arabia’s devotion to protecting intellectual property (IP) rights within KSA.”