F1 loses Middle East broadcaster over piracy issue

Formula 1 is on the hunt for a new broadcast partner in the Middle East and North Africa, after the Qatar-based BeIN Sports company decided against renewing its deal because of piracy problems.

F1 loses Middle East broadcaster over piracy issue

BeIN Sports’s previous five-year contract ran out at the end of 2018, and there had been discussions about extending it. The Middle East is one of F1’s top 20 markets and estimates have put the value of the deal at more than $30 million a year.

However, amid ongoing unease about the growth of pirate channel ‘BeoutQ’, which has been illegally broadcasting F1 content across the Middle East, BeIN has decided against continuing.

In a statement issued by BeIN, the managing director of its Middle East region Tom Keaveny said that piracy was the driving factor behind its call.

"A rights holder's stance on BeoutQ's piracy - in other words, whether they're taking legal action, making a public stand, and doing everything within their power to combat the industrial-scale theft of their rights - is a critical factor that we now consider when bidding,” he was quoted as saying.

“We pay enormous amounts for media rights, but the natural consequence of Saudi Arabia’s piracy is that those rights cannot be protected so we will pay less for those rights in the future – in particular to the rights holders who pay only lip service to combatting BeoutQ. 

“We have been warning of the very real commercial consequences of BeoutQ’s theft of world sport and entertainment for almost two years now – yet the piracy continues with impunity every day and represents an existential threat to the economic model of the sports and entertainment industry.

“The international community must take decisive action to bring this state-supported piracy to an immediate end.”

Although BeoutQ has been widely linked with Saudi Arabia, the government there insists it is not based there and has vowed to help stop piracy. It is unclear who owns or funds the channel.

Last year F1 vowed to take action over BeoutQ’s activities, which have also led to measures implemented in other sports.

A statement issued by F1 last year said: “Formula 1 takes intellectual property infringement of this nature extremely seriously, we are looking in to the issue and those that are involved and will take appropriate action."

Motorsport.com has contacted F1 for comment.

shares
comments
Horner: Ill-prepared Liberty thought F1 was "low-hanging fruit"

Previous article

Horner: Ill-prepared Liberty thought F1 was "low-hanging fruit"

Next article

McLaren signs deal with British American Tobacco

McLaren signs deal with British American Tobacco
Load comments
Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Prime

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbon fibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Prime

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Prime

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku Prime

The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021