NBA and Sky accuse Saudi Arabia of harboring media pirates
American sports leagues and Europe’s top pay-TV broadcaster have accused Saudi Arabia of allowing a streaming service to pirate their content.
The National Basketball Association, the US Tennis Association and a group representing the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League have filed complaints with the US government over the alleged violations.
The leagues have filed submissions with the United States Trade Representative in recent days asking for Saudi Arabia to be placed on a “Priority Watch List” of countries that do not protect intellectual property rights. Comcast’s Sky has made a similar complaint.
The piracy battle is playing out in the shadow of a larger geopolitical conflict between Saudi Arabia and the small but wealthy Gulf nation of Qatar.
The content owners claimed in their filings that a Saudi streaming service called BeoutQ frequently pirates their live sporting events. Qatar-based BeIN Media Group, which owns Miramax film studio, holds the regional broadcast rights for many of the events.
In some cases, BeoutQ is accused of ripping its feed directly from BeIN including the sports commentary, but replacing the BeIN logo with a BeoutQ logo.
“BeoutQ has illegally transmitted BeIN’s coverage of numerous NBA games, US Open Tennis Championships, and many other high-profile sporting events,” the NBA and USTA wrote in a