28 November 2022CopyrightSarah Speight

Saudi Arabia blocks official World Cup streaming channel

Subscribers to official streaming site unable to access event in the Kingdom | Move comes months after lifting of four-year ban over illegal streaming of Premier League.

The official FIFA World Cup broadcaster beIN Sports has apparently been barred from streaming the international event via its streaming channel

Subscribers to the channel in the Middle East and North Africa found their access to the event blocked at the start of the games on November 20, with the only explanation coming four days later in a message from saying it was experiencing an “outage”, according to Reuters.

Users of the page from within Saudi Arabia are told: “Sorry, the requested page is violating the regulations of the ministry of media.” subscribers took to Twitter to vent their frustration, with many demanding a refund of their $80 subscription fee, which they had paid to access the tournament.

Four-year ban

It is not the first time the Qatari broadcaster has been blocked by Saudi Arabian authorities, having imposed a four-year ban in 2017 following a dispute over the illegal streaming of Premier League football matches.

The Saudi Kingdom blocked beIN Media from enforcing its IP, broadcasting, or streaming in the country, enabling pirate sports broadcasters such as beoutQ to fill the gap in providing sports content in the region.

The Kingdom had cited security concerns in justifying the ban, but the World Trade Organization found that this was not enough to explain the lack of criminal sanctions against such piracy, and accused the state of failing to meet its TRIPS Agreement obligations.

This ban was lifted in October 2021 and beIN had resumed its service in the region until it was suddenly reimposed at the start of the World Cup.

WIPR has approached beIN, and Saudi Arabia’s Media Ministry for comment.

Did you enjoy reading this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories sent like this straight to your inbox.

Today’s top stories

Disney and Warner Bros secure win in Australian piracy war

Archambeau loses bid to stay on as EUIPO chief

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

21 November 2022   Criminal networks ‘exploiting fan loyalty’ | UK Intellectual Property Office partners with City of London police to seize shirts, badges, and cash from multiple raids.
23 November 2020   Puma has challenged the Fédération Internationale de Football Association's ownership of its ‘World Cup’ trademarks at the US Patent and Trademark Office, arguing that the words are generic.