beIN MEDIA GROUP Denounces Arabsat Sponsorship of the MENA Anti Piracy
beIN MEDIA GROUP strongly denounces Arabsat’s sponsorship of the up-coming MENA AntiPiracy Conference to be held in Dubai on 2 May 2018, in light of its facilitation of satellite broadcasts by the notorious Saudi-based piracy network, cynically known as “beoutQ”.
Since October 2017, the beoutQ pirates have been selling subscriptions to ten satellite channels carrying premium live sports content stolen from beIN and other broadcasters. beoutQ set top boxes are being openly sold in retail outlets across the KSA and other countries, and the packaging and promotional materials for the set top boxes explicitly advertise the availability of pirated premium sports content.
Since February 2018, the beoutQ pirates have gone even further, by distributing an illegal IPTV app which provides access to hundreds of pirated channels from around the world. The content includes, not only beIN channels, but other major global channels, covering sports, Hollywood movies, television shows, and other entertainment content. This is a very serious development for all content owners in the MENA region, since it is leading to a high penetration and awareness of pirated IPTV services, which are a huge threat to our industry.
beIN as well as several rights holders have written to Arabsat on numerous occasions, providing evidence that beoutQ is using Arabsat frequencies, and asking it to take down the beoutQ channels. Arabsat has refused this request and simply denies liability.
By sponsoring the MENA Anti-Piracy Conference, Arabsat is presenting itself as a responsible satellite operator, concerned with combatting broadcast piracy. Yet, at the same time, Arabsat is refusing to take any steps to bring an end to this piracy, which is causing immeasurable harm to broadcasters and rights owners in the MENA region. Arabsat’s sponsorship of this anti-piracy event is indefensible, and makes a mockery of the conference.
beIN MEDIA GROUP again calls on Arabsat to immediately cease making its facilities available to beoutQ.
beIN MEDIA GROUP has written to the conference organizers to make them aware of this situation and demanded that Arabsat’s sponsorship be cancelled.