AFC set to sue ‘pirate entity’ beoutQ over the illegal broadcast of 2019 Asian Cup
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has taken a tough stance on pirate television channel beoutQ, which has been illegally broadcasting matches of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
The AFC said it was going ahead with legal action against the Saudi Arabia-based channel for illegally broadcasting the continent’s biggest football tournament, reported Gulf Times.
The AFC said the Asian Cup, which kicked off in Abu Dhabi last week, had been appearing illegally on beoutQ.
“The Asian Football Confederation today condemns the pirate entity named ‘beoutQ’ that continues to illegally broadcast the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019,” the statement said.
“The AFC has already instructed 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 statement added.
Unlike a previous AFC comment Saturday about a “cease and desist” notice, the statement Wednesday specifically named Saudi Arabia and “the pirate entity named ‘beoutQ’.” https://t.co/QHsPe7cHfF
Unlike a previous AFC comment Saturday about a “cease and desist” notice, the statement Wednesday specifically named Saudi Arabia and “the pirate entity named ‘beoutQ’.” https://t.co/QHsPe7cHfF— Kristian Ulrichsen (@Dr_Ulrichsen) January 9, 2019
AFC did not provide further detail on the parties involved in the case or damages being sought.
BeoutQ had earlier been accused by football’s governing body FIFA, tennis governing bodies and other sports bodies for illegally airing content whose exclusive Middle East television rights belong to Qatar-based broadcaster beIN, according to The Peninsula.
BeoutQ emerged in 2017 after Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a diplomatic and trade boycott against Qatar.
But Riyadh claims it is not based there and that authorities are committed to fighting piracy, including announcing the confiscation of 12,000 pirating devices last June.
It is unclear who owns or operates the channel.
Last month, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) had said it would investigate Qatari allegations of intellectual property breaches by Saudi Arabia, including the piracy of beIN content.