BBC and Sky call for BeoutQ crackdown

Broadcasters call for EU protest against Saudi Arabia-based service.
BBC, Sky, BeoutQ, Saudi Arabia, TV, Broadcasting, Copyright

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The BBC and Sky have asked the European Commission to take action against Saudi Arabia over allegations of a service providing TV and streaming content.

According to the BBC and Sky, the service, known as BeoutQ, is providing content including popular TV programme Game of Thrones and Premier League football.

As first reported by The Guardian, BeoutQ began as a geo-blocked website available only in Saudi Arabia, before expanding into a service accessible via set-top boxes available internationally, allowing for the streaming access of thousands of premium television channels, as well as events such as the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The BBC and Sky have called for a formal European Union protest for Saudi Arabia to take action against BeoutQ. In a letter, Sky highlighted “threats posed to European broadcasters and rights owners by a relatively new, but rapidly growing, source of audiovisual piracy.”

BeoutQ is transmitted internationally on 10 channels by Saudo Arabia-based satellite firm Arabsat. It began last year by pirating the feed of BeIN Media Group.

In October, the Premier League and FIFA appointed legal counsel in Saudi Arabia to try to prevent the theft of its intellectual property rights.

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