There is evidence in the WTO rules that there is a Saudi-backed pirate broadcaster – various2 min read
The World Trade Organization has ruled that there is widespread evidence that the Saudi Arabian government has illegally endorsed pirate broadcasters in the Middle East and beyond using illegal premium sports and Hollywood content encrypted channels.
The case was brought to the WTO by the Qatari government 18 months ago. BoutQ Qatari Powerhouse is a key player in BIN Media Group.
As part of the rules of procedure, the WTO tribunal – which is considered the top arbiter in world trade disputes – heard from top European sports bodies such as The Premier League, FIFA, UEFA, La Liga and the Bundesliga. Page decision, published Tuesday.
The Doha-based BIN, a state-owned spin-off of the Al-Jazeera news network, has long accused the Saudi government of harboring BTQ, which arose in 2013 after sanctions were imposed on Saudi Arabia amid a bitter diplomatic stance with Qatar. .
BIN alleges that beoutQ steals feeds from live sports events and films and beams the content to users illegally in the Middle East and beyond. BIN says the content includes soccer matches, football games, Formula One races and Olympic events, and thousands of premium Hollywood movies and TV shows.
The WTO ruling on Tuesday has immediate potential consequences in the United States, where Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund is reportedly trying to buy a 60% stake in the country’s Newcastle United Soccer Football Club (pictured) in a ৮ 387 million deal. Piracy is considered a criminal offense in the United States, so this ruling puts pressure on the United States Premier League to ban the deal. No immediate comment was received from the government investment fund.
According to the WTO ruling, Saudi government officials promoted BTQ. The verdict further states that the BoutQ is being transmitted through a satellite owned by the Saudi-based company Arabsat.
Saudi Arabia, which has not commented, could still appeal against the WTO decision.