Eleven Becomes Latest Network To Accuse BeoutQ Of Piracy
Eleven Sports Networks joined NBCUniversal's Telemundo in complaining about "piracy of their live exclusive sports rights" by Saudi-based BeoutQ, according to Robert Briel of BROADBAND TV NEWS. Telemundo said that BeoutQ "takes its live feed and is distributing it on its platform." Eleven also said that its live rights, which do not include the World Cup, "have been pirated by BeoutQ." Eleven said in a statement, "This unauthorised streaming of Eleven Sports’ services seriously infringes our intellectual property rights. We are looking into this issue and we will take the appropriate course of action." Following the piracy of its World Cup coverage, beIN Sport "has integrated a ticker on its broadcasts showing FIFA's statement in an attempt to warn BeoutQ customers that they are watching a stolen feed of the World Cup." However, images on Twitter "show that BeoutQ has since put its own information ticker" over that of beIN's in an effort to "conceal the FIFA statement" (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 6/20). INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Paul Nicholson reported the pictures "flashed around the world" of FIFA President Gianni Infantino "sitting majestically between his two new best friends," the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia on his right and Russian President Valdimir Putin on his left at the opening match of the World Cup, "will have left FIFA’s high paying rightsholders wondering if there is another game in play that they are not part of." The issue for Infantino "is that the piracy is not just that of a rogue satellite operator," but of a state-supported broadcaster "deliberately stealing rights" to undermine a neighbor in a "sports rights war that has become part of a wider geo-political agenda" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL 6/18).