Saudi Arabia to illegally beam World Cup matches from stolen beIN Sports signal
The ongoing illegal siege of Qatar means Saudi Arabia, one of the main players in the crisis, will be pirating all 64 matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia next month, after banning Qatari channel beIN Sports, which owns the broadcast rights.
beIN Sports owns the rights to broadcast FA Cup matches across the Middle East, as well as the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League and next month’s FIFA World Cup, reported UK-based newspaper The Independent.
Ever since the diplomatic row broke out, Saudi Arabia has cut off all business with Qatar, including its sports fans’ access to the Qatari channel.
Shortly after the dispute started the Saudis banned the sale of beIN broadcast boxes and stopped existing customers from paying subscriptions to the channel.
Instead it managed to pirate the channel using a rogue satellite service, called beOutQ, which is ‘geo-locked’ so only internet users in the desert kingdom who pay $100 for decoder boxes can access it, according to Gulf Times.
beOutQ broadcasts exactly the same transmission as beIN, with the same studio pundits, only with a 10-second delay and the beOutQ logo superimposed.
beIN has tried to find out how the Saudi-based station is tapping into the footage.
But so far all they have been able to do is trace the BeOutQ signal to the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Tom Keaveny, beIN’s Managing Director for the Middle East, said the BeOutQ operation ‘takes industrial scale knowledge and ability and multimillion dollar funding. This isn’t someone in their bedroom’.
It is thought that the Saudi channel is able to re-broadcast content delivered to a legitimate beIN subscriber.
Each customer has a unique identification number, called a fingerprint, and normally this can be detected if fraud is being carried out and the supply cut off.
But the BeOutQ operation has found a way of hiding the finger print.
Sophie Jordan, General Counsel of beIN Media Group, said: “For the past 10 months, beoutQ and its Saudi backers have been illegally pirating our proprietary sports content on an industrial scale, brazenly stealing IP and making it their own. If left unchecked, this will have a dramatic and long-term impact on the grass roots funding of the sports that we all enjoy.”
As well as the FA Cup, the last few months of the 2017-18 Premier League season were also pirated by beOutQ.
beIN has paid billions of dollars to secure exclusive rights to the world’s most prestigious tournaments to secure its primacy in the Middle East.
But now it faces the nightmare scenario of watching a bootlegging satellite service offering access to all 64 matches of the World Cup, and being unable to stop it.
Despite saying it supports beIN’s anti-piracy efforts, FIFA has been reluctant to openly criticise Saudi Arabia.
Critics point to recently-announced Saudi investment in a £15bn Club World Cup which football’s governing body hopes to launch in 2021.
We need to stop such Stealing . Bein paid billions of Dollars to obtain Middle East rights and this stealing will cause huge Financial loss....
Bein should Find out the source of the Piracy and should initiate Legal action..
Saudi should know:
Stealing is a Sin
aye aye captain
haha just the fact that we know they're doing it is enough humiliation for them; for bein to let them do it and not retaliate would be insult to injury; It's even more laughable that the beoutq name seems to be a dig at Qatar from whom they're stealing the channel... childish games... hope common sense will eventually prevail...
We’re not going to just let them. Can we stop them?