TheJakartaPost

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

Saudi permanently revokes license of Qatar's beIN

Saudi permanently revokes license of Qatar's beIN A photo shows a microphone of the beIN Sports television channel during the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg football match between Monaco and Juventus at Stade Louis II Stadium in Monaco on May 3, 2017. Saudi Arabia said Tuesday it has permanently revoked the license of Qatari broadcaster beIN Sports and slapped it with a fine of $2.7 million over alleged "monopolistic" practices. (AFP/Franck Fife)
News Desk
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia   ●   Wed, July 15, 2020 2020-07-15 09:07 297 6657ac82168da9fa101c8a40666592a5 2 Sports Saudi-Arabia,Qatar,BeIN-Sports,broadcast,license Free

Saudi Arabia said Tuesday it has permanently revoked the license of Qatari broadcaster beIN Sports and slapped it with a fine of $2.7 million over alleged "monopolistic" practices.

Subscribing to beIN, the Arab world's leading sports channel which has exclusive rights to several key tournaments, has been difficult for Saudi fans since the kingdom's 2017 boycott of Qatar.

Just days after Riyadh and its allies cut ties with Doha, Saudi Arabia banned the sale and distribution of beIN receivers and blocked Qatari websites as well as all transactions with its former ally.

In 2018, Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Competition (GAC) said it was revoking the broadcaster's license and imposing the 10-million riyal ($2.7 million) fine, according to local media.

On Tuesday, the GAC said a Saudi administrative court had upheld the decision.

The GAC said beIN had "abused its dominant position through several monopolistic practices" that violated the kingdom's competition law.

In a statement, BeIN dismissed the decision as "nonsensical", which it said had come after "sham legal proceedings".

"The very idea that permanently banning a leading competitor from a market could in any way promote competition is plainly absurd," beIN said in a statement.

BeIN has alleged that since August 2017 a vast and sophisticated Saudi bootlegging network known as "beoutQ" illicitly transmitted its programs via Riyadh-based satellite provider Arabsat.

The World Trade Organization ruled earlier in June that Riyadh had failed to protect the intellectual property rights of beIN by refusing to take action against beoutQ.

The ruling could have serious implications for a proposed 300-million-pound ($370-million) Saudi-backed takeover of English Premier League club Newcastle United.

English Premier League football chief executive Richard Masters admitted last month that the proposed takeover involving Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) was "complicated".