By Anthony Harwood/ London Correspondent
A rogue Saudi Arabian TV channel is targeting next season’s Premier League in a new promo video even as it is revealed that piracy costs clubs £1mn per match in lost sponsorship.
The trailer for beoutQ features London buses, English fans, Jurgen Klopp and the Premier League trophy.
The minute-long video begins with Liverpool fans singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, and also includes shots of marching guards as well as cheering fans at top clubs around the country.
Earlier this month, a report claimed that Premier League clubs are missing out on £1mn in sponsorship every game because of piracy.
The study by digital piracy authority MUSO, in partnership with sponsorship valuation firm GumGum Sports, was based on an analysis of eight matches last season, which on an average was viewed by an illegal audience of 7.1mn fans across 149 countries.
The five largest pirate audiences were in China, Vietnam, Kenya, India and Nigeria - while the US and UK ranked 10th and 11th, respectively.
In Spain, La Liga estimates that it loses around £360mn a year due to piracy.
Meanwhile, the Premier League has also seen the value of its domestic rights fall with broadcasters warning they will not spend as much if tougher measures to block piracy are not introduced.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Saudi Arabia had been urged by Philip Hammond, Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, to put an end to its wholesale piracy of sports rights.
He got tough with officials during a visit to the desert kingdom as beoutQ prepared to steal the whole Wimbledon fortnight as well as next season’s Premier League, which kicks off in under a month.
beoutQ is broadcast via the satellite channel, Arabsat, whose biggest shareholder is Saudi Arabia.
On Sunday, the All England Lawn Tennis Club called on the UK government to take action, saying beoutQ was “undermining the commercial value of Wimbledon’s intellectual property all around the world”.
The piracy dates back to 2017 in the wake of the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar, where beIN Sports, which owns rights to the major sporting events across the Middle East, is based.
Over the following months and years, the FIFA World Cup, Champions League, Premier League and Formula One have been stolen – and the piracy has spread throughout the world.
Hammond’s visit came after Jeremy Wright, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, promised the government would “press their counterparts for an early resolution to this problem”.
The matter has also been raised three times in parliament with MPs worried about how piracy on an industrial scale will affect funding and support for UK sport.
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