It is not known whether the shutdown is temporary or permanent, but it marks a significant victory for legitimate broadcasters.
Pirate broadcaster beoutQ is no longer on air. The shutdown comes in the wake of a joint statement released by FIFA, UEFA, AFC, Bundesliga, LaLiga, Premier League and Lega Serie A last month seeking help from authorities in Saudi Arabia (KSA) to support them in ending “the widespread and flagrant breaches of our intellectual property rights taking place in the country”.
“Since May 2018, we have collectively been working with an international legal counsel to monitor and compile evidence against beoutQ, whose broadcasts are regularly and on an industrial scale made available on an illegal basis. Following thorough analysis by technical experts of how beoutQ operates from a technical perspective, we are satisfied that beoutQ is operating specifically to target customers in KSA and is utilising the facilities of at least one KSA-based entity,” the organisations said in a statement, the first such collaborative effort in sports broadcasting history.
While a number of stakeholders in the MENA TV industry suffered significant losses because of beoutQ, the platform that took the biggest hit was Qatar-based beIN Sports, which announced a loss of US $1bn in revenue due to piracy. Last month, the broadcaster is said to have let go of 300 employees owing to revenue losses caused by piracy.
BroadcastPro ME has reached out to different broadcasters in MENA for comment.