Bahrain Court Rules Against Unauthorized Rebroadcasting Of Bein Channels


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: In a landmark case, the Third Lower Criminal Court of the Kingdom of Bahrain has charged an individual with illegally selling and distributing internet protocol television (IPTV) services designed to illegally intercept, pirate and rebroadcast transmissions belonging to beIN media GROUP (beIN) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

This significant ruling sets a precedent in the fight against piracy, demonstrating the legal implications of engaging in or facilitating the transmission of pirated material, which infringes on intellectual property rights.

The court proceedings found that during 2022, the defendant knowingly sold IPTV services to customers which were specifically modified to bypass the subscription model of beIN. The defendant sold these services across three locations in Bahrain; Souq Waqif, Tubli and Saar, claiming that his company specialised in the sale of IPTV services as an 'authorized distributor' of beIN.

These services pirated all major football competitions broadcast on the group's sports channels, beIN SPORTS, including the UEFA Champions League, English Premier League and LaLiga, as well as beIN's entertainment channels. The defendant also willingly helped customers who requested specific programs and channels to illegally gain access to those transmissions. His actions were in direct violation of Articles 44/2 and 3, 45, and 111 of the Penal Law, as well as multiple sections of Law No. (6) of 2014 concerning cybercrimes.

Despite the defendant's attempt to challenge the charges, court found the accumulated evidence against himto be overwhelming. The court decisively rejected all pleas from the defence, highlighting the clarity and gravity of the crimes committed. As a result of his actions, the defendant was penalized for 5,000 Bahraini Dinars ($13,266 USD).

This ruling marks significant progress in the ongoing fight against piracy. Pirate networks in the region cost broadcasters over $1 billion a year, which has a direct effect on what broadcasters are able to pay for sports rights.

This case also demonstrates the legal consequences of infringing on intellectual property rights. Piracy does not respect licensees' territories; it undermines the principle of broadcast license exclusivity impacting the development and investment in leagues and clubs.

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The Peninsula

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