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Volume 7 No. 149
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Formula 1 Launches Investigation Of BeoutQ

Formula 1 "launched an investigation into the illegal broadcasts" by BeoutQ, according to Robert Briel of BROADBAND TV NEWS. The signal was "apparently taken" from beIN Sport, the Qatari broadcaster that owns the exclusive F1 rights for the Middle East and North Africa region. F1 said in a statement, "It has come to our attention that certain Formula 1 content has been illegally transmitted by the channel known as beoutQ operating primarily within the MENA region" (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 6/25).

SAUDI ARABIA RESPONDS: INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Paul Nicholson reported Saudi Arabia responded "somewhat derisorily" to the dispute over the piracy of World Cup matches, saying that it "has seized" 12,000 BeoutQ satellite decoders in the country which have been transmitting stolen sports content. So far, "every single match of the World Cup has been pirated into Saudi Arabia" by BeoutQ. The move "is a step in the right direction" in that the Saudis are recognizing the illegality of piracy, but it is a move that will have "little or no impact" -- if the Saudis have actually seized the decoders -- with "tens if not hundreds of thousands of decoders in operation in the country" and all public viewing of matches "taking place through the decoders." The 12,000 confiscated boxes are a "suspiciously similar number" to the figure of 11,000 lost subscriptions to the beIN Sport service, suggesting the Saudis "are taunting the Qatari rightsholder" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 6/25).