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Saudi prince condemns 'Riyadh-based pirate channel' hijacking Qatar's BeIN Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Saudi prince condemns 'Riyadh-based pirate channel' hijacking Qatar's BeIN

BeIN Sports holds the exclusive regional rights to the Asian Cup [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 January, 2019

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A Saudi prince has spoken out against a Riyadh-based pirate channel that has been hijacking the feed of Qatar's BeIN Sports amid a regional diplomatic crisis.

A Saudi prince has spoken out against a Riyadh-based pirate channel that has been hijacking the feed of Qatar's BeIN Sports amid a regional diplomatic crisis.

Prince Abdel Rahman bin Musaid made the remarks on social media on Sunday after a video was posted online of him watching the Asian Cup on the Qatari channel, which has been banned in Saudi Arabia.

"Yes I am watching the matches on the official broadcaster because I respect international copyrights," Prince Abdel Rahman said, responding to attacks against him.

"I do not support hacking and violating copyrights - this is the position of the state," he added.

Prince Abdel Rahman, who is also a writer and a poet, is a big name in Saudi football and is the former manager of Saudi club Al-Hilal.

The prince was referring to the "BeOutQ" channel which has been pirating BeIN Sports' live sports broadcasts since a Riyadh-led bloc broke off all relations with Doha 18 months ago.

BeIN Sports holds the exclusive regional rights to the Asian Cup currently taking place in the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar has accused Saudi Arabia of being behind the pirate channel and that its signal has been traced back to Riyadh-based satellite provider Arabsat.

Saudi Arabia has denied the accusations.

In a warning issued on Saturday, the AFC said it was aware "unauthorised broadcasters" may attempt to screen Asian Cup matches but did not publicly call out the Saudis.

"The AFC, in order to protect the rights of its broadcast partners, has issued 'cease and desist' notices to the infringers," the governing body said.

Qatar is among the 24 finalists at the football tournament and will face off against the Saudi team next week in a highly anticipated match-up between the two countries.

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