Saudi Arabia applauds FIFA ‘red card’ for beoutQ pirate broadcaster

FIFA said it is taking legal action against beoutQ for illegal broadcasts of the World Cup. (AFP)
Updated 13 July 2018

Saudi Arabia applauds FIFA ‘red card’ for beoutQ pirate broadcaster

  • FIFA says it will take legal action against the pirate TV channel, which has been illegally broadcasting the World Cup
  • Saudi Arabia says the move would supplement the kingdom's efforts to combat beoutQ

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia welcomed on Thursday FIFA’s announcement that it will take legal action in the Kingdom against a pirate TV channel illegally broadcasting the World Cup. 

Riyadh has denied allegations that beoutQ is based in Saudi Arabia and is working to combat its operations.

The Ministry of Media said the FIFA action would “supplement the relentless efforts by the KSA Ministry of Commerce and Investment in combatting beoutQ's activities and beIN’s illegal broadcasting within the country.”

The statement said this would reinforce Saudi Arabia’s efforts to protecting intellectual property rights within the Kingdom.

The Ministry of Media said it blamed beIN Sports, a subsidiary of the Al Jazeera Media Network, for “falsely and unfairly” connecting Saudi Arabia with beoutQ.

Saudi Arabia has banned Qatar-based Al Jazeera and beIN Sports from broadcasting in the country as part of a boycott against Doha over its support for extremist groups.

beIN Sports says it holds the rights to broadcast the 2018 World Cup in the Middle East and North Africa.

The ministry accused the network of providing a media platform for “terrorists to propagate their violent message.”

The statement reported on the Saudi Press Agency said that while beoutQ's pirate broadcasts have been available in the Kingdom, its set-top boxes are available in, other nations in the Middle East and North Africa and the pirate broadcasts are targeted at that region, including Qatar but also Eastern Europe.

The ministry said beIN Sports had engineered a smear campaign against Saudi Arabia.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry inaugurates Arab News Pakistan bureau

Updated 16 February 2019

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry inaugurates Arab News Pakistan bureau

  • New office will be hub for Asian operation of paper and builds on relationship with community and its digital generation
  • Arab News launched its online Pakistan edition in February last year as part of its global digital expansion plans

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has officially inaugurated Arab News Pakistan bureau in the country’s capital.

Chaudhry was the chief guest at the occasion and several prominent Pakistani media personalities and Arab News staff also attended the launch ceremony.

Standing side by side with Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas, who is in Pakistan as part of the media delegation accompanying the royal visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Arab News Asia Bureau Chief Baker Atyani, Chaudhry cut a ceremonial ribbon to open the office.

“I am very happy for two reasons: The perception was building that the newspapers were not coming (to Pakistan), so once an international publication like Arab News (has come here) it certainly gives us a huge boost.”

Chaudhry described how the relationship between the nations was becoming stronger, particularly with the growth of Pakistan’s voice in the Middle East.

‘Secondly, I think this is an era where Pakistan is playing a very important role in the Middle East and to have such a major Middle Eastern publication coming to Pakistan itself shows the kind of importance Pakistan has of the Middle East and vice versa, we are very happy to have you here.’

Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas thanked the Pakistani information minister for his presence at the inauguration and for the efforts of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to help facilitate the newspaper’s operations in Islamabad. 

“The inauguration of our Islamabad bureau a year after the launch of our local digital edition is an indicator of our commitment to Pakistan and our determination to help create a better understanding of Saudi Arabia and the region,” said Abbas. 

“Ever since its establishment in 1975, Arab News has had a special relationship with the massive and incredibly loyal Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia. Today we inaugurate this bureau in Islamabad to ensure a continued connection with the community and establish a relationship with a new more digital and highly connected generation,” he added. 

Asia Bureau Chief Baker Atyani said that the new office would be a hub not only for the Arab News Pakistan edition but also for the entire Asian operation of the paper. “We currently have reporters across Pakistan as well as nine other Asian countries and with the help, hard work and dedication of our team at the Islamabad bureau we hope not only to better manage our operation but to grow further in Asia as well.” 

Arab News launched its online Pakistan edition in February last year as part of its global digital expansion plans. The project is the first of many new international editions planned by the Riyadh-based newspaper. 

Arab News is part of the regional publishing giant Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG).