Premier League release joint statement calling for action to be taken on piracy
Last Updated: 16/09/19 4:31pm
The Premier League has joined calls for Saudi state satellite operator Arabsat to stop providing a platform for a pirate network which is "abusing" sport.
The network, known as beoutQ, first began streaming sporting events illegally in 2017 and despite repeated attempts by sports governing bodies and rights holders to stop it, the piracy has continued.
Now, a report by brand protection firm MarkMonitor commissioned by a number of confederations and leagues states that a definitive link has been established between the pirate network and Arabsat.
Arabsat is headquartered in Saudi Arabia and was founded in 1976 by the 21 members of the Arab League.
"The report confirms without question that beoutQ's pirate broadcasts have been transmitted using satellite infrastructure owned and operated by Arabsat," read a statement released jointly by FIFA, UEFA, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the Premier League, the Bundesliga, LaLiga, Serie A and Ligue 1.
"We have been frustrated in our attempts to pursue a formal copyright claim against beoutQ in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and, while we have received reports that beoutQ transmissions are currently disrupted, we nevertheless call on Arabsat and all other satellite providers to stop (and going forward agree to refrain from) providing a platform for piracy, which harms not just legitimate licensees, fans and players but also the sports that it abuses.
"Cutting off its access to transmission services would be a major step in the fight to stop beoutQ. We all, individually and collectively, remain committed to bringing an end to international sports piracy."
Arabsat and the Saudi state have been approached for a response by the Press Association news agency.
The UK and US governments have previously spoken out against the operations of beoutQ, with the chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee Damian Collins previously describing the network's actions as "straightforward piracy" in May of this year.
Qatar-based beIn SPORTS is the broadcaster most regularly targeted by beoutQ. Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been involved in a political dispute since 2017.