9 July 2018Copyright

Saudi Arabia responds to ‘baseless’ Wimbledon piracy claims

Saudi Arabia’s ministry of media has denied allegations made by international tennis organisations which claim that the country is the source of pirate site beoutQ.

The news comes as the second week of Wimbledon began today, July 9, in London.

“The world’s tennis governing bodies have joined forces to publicly condemn and call for the immediate closure of the illegal Saudi Arabian-based piracy operation, beoutQ,” said a press release published on the Wimbledon website on Thursday, July 5.

The statement was issued on behalf of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the ATP World Tour, ATP Media, the Women’s Tennis Association, the US Tennis Association, the French Tennis Federation and Tennis Australia.

It claimed that beoutQ has been illegally broadcasting a variety of tennis tournaments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region without obtaining any rights to do so.

The statement said that beIN Media Group is the exclusive rights holder of major tennis tournaments, such as Wimbledon, in the MENA region.

It added: “Over the past 12 months, beoutQ has been brazenly stealing the broadcast feeds of international tennis tournaments and distributing them illegally on a satellite provider called Arabsat.”

Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia’s ministry of media denied claims that beoutQ is based in Saudi Arabia.

The ministry of media said: “Wimbledon’s press release baselessly claims that beoutQ is based in Saudi Arabia and suggests that Saudi Arabia is somehow complicit in beoutQ’s broadcasts.”

The ministry added that it is “devoted to protecting” IP rights in Saudi Arabia.

Last month, the ministry released a similar statement in response to claims from the Union of European Football Associations ( UEFA) that beoutQ is based in Saudi Arabia.

The ministry called UEFA’s claims “baseless” and “irresponsible allegations”.

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More on this story

12 July 2018   Just days before the end of the football World Cup, the sport’s international governing body FIFA has revealed its plan to tackle a pirate site.
13 July 2018   Saudi Arabia has welcomed FIFA’s announcement that it has engaged legal counsel to take action in Saudi Arabia against the alleged pirate channel beoutQ.
14 June 2019   Qatari broadcaster beIN Sports is claiming a major victory after it announced that a French court had found Saudi-headquartered satellite distributor Arabsat to be involved in the alleged piracy operation beoutQ.