French court throws out Qatari-owned beIN Sports’ ‘unproven’ broadcast piracy claim against Arabsat

A French judiciary fined Qatari-funded beIN Sports and ordered it to pay legal costs over its attempts to link Arabsat with pirate broadcasts. (Reuters)
Updated 18 June 2019

French court throws out Qatari-owned beIN Sports’ ‘unproven’ broadcast piracy claim against Arabsat

  • The court rejected beIN’s allegations and demanded that beIN pay a fine of €6,000 to Arabsat’s adviser

LONDON: The Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris has thrown out beIN Media group’s allegations against the Arab Satellite Communications Organisation — better known as Arabsat.

The French court rejected beIN’s allegations and demanded that beIN pay a fine of €6,000 to Arabsat’s adviser, and the prosecution costs of Arabsat amounting to €25,000.

Arabsat said it welcomed the ruling, which made clear there was no link between Arabsat and piracy.

The court said beIN had failed to demonstrate “clear illegal disruption or prove immediate risk of commercial damage.”

In a statement issued after the conclusion of the legal proceedings in Paris, the satellite company said that it respected the integrity of the French judiciary and was pleased with how skillfully and professionally the allegations of Qatar’s Al Jazeera subsidiary, beIN Sports, were addressed.

“The French judiciary’s ruling, rejecting beIN’s lawsuit and allegations against Arabsat, has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt our organization’s valid position from day one, despite beIN Sport’s attempts to cast doubt on that position; its media smear campaign; and its relentless attempts to push bogus and misleading claims,” Arabsat said in a statement following the ruling.

INNUMBERS

• €25,000 — beIN ordered to pay prosecution costs of Arabsat

• 500 — The number of TV channels Arabsat broadcasts

• 170 million — Arabsat audience in the Middle East and North Africa

• 1976 — year Arabsat was founded

It marks the latest legal chapter in a long running feud that has produced claim and counter claim.  In a press release issued on May 2, 2018 beIN accused Arabsat of “facilitation of satellite broadcasts by the notorious Saudi-based piracy network, cynically known as “beoutQ”.

Founded in 1976, Arabsat has grown to become the leading satellite services provider in the Arab world.

It broadcasts over 500 TV channels, 200 radio stations, pay-tv networks as well as HD channels to millions of homes across 80 countries.

It has an estimated audience of over 170 million viewers in the Middle East and North Africa.

Doha-based beIN was founded in 2014 and operates 60 channels in 43 countries.


Egyptian icon Bahiga Hafez gets Google Doodle tribute

Updated 04 August 2020

Egyptian icon Bahiga Hafez gets Google Doodle tribute

  • Hafez was widely known for her extensive contribution in the early days of Egyptian cinema
  • Her work has “helped pave the way for the start of what is widely considered Egyptian cinema’s golden age in the 1940s”

DUBAI: Google honored one of Egypt’s cinema icons Bahiga Hafez with a doodle on Tuesday, in what would have been the star’s 112th birthday.

The doodle, which shows a young Hafez with a pearl-embellished head dress, was illustrated by Cairo-based artist Marian El-Reweny.

Hafez was widely known for her extensive contribution in the early days of Egyptian cinema – both as an on-screen talent and behind the scenes where she would work as a producer, director, editor, costume designer or composer.

The Alexandria-born pioneering icon earned a degree in music composition in Paris in 1930. She moved back to Egypt to work with record companies until she was cast as the female lead in the silent film “Zeinab” for her debut onscreen performance.

Hafez and her husband, Mahmoud Hamdi, established Fanar Film Company two years later, which further demonstrated her talent in filmmaking. The company released “Al-Dahaya” in 1932, and Hafez played a crucial role in its production.

The groundbreaking star went on to produce more films, and her work has “helped pave the way for the start of what is widely considered Egyptian cinema’s golden age in the 1940s,” Google said.

She died in Cairo in December 1983 at the age of 75.