UEFA Hits Out at Piracy of Prized European Soccer Matches

(Bloomberg) -- European soccer’s governing body UEFA warned that illicit broadcasts of some of its top matches of the past season, including last month’s European Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid, pose a significant threat to European football.

“UEFA strongly condemns all unauthorized broadcasting and illegal streaming,” it said in an emailed statement.

UEFA said it was aware that BeoutQ, based in Saudi Arabia, had illegally distributed the Champions League and the Europa League throughout 2017/18, including the Champions League final in Kiev on May 26. UEFA said BeoutQ hasn’t received any rights whatsoever to broadcast any of its events. The body added that the protection of its intellectual property was key to UEFA.

UEFA’s condemnation follows a similar statement from FIFA, which has watched on while some of its World Cup matches have been pirated. The rights holder, NBCUniversal’s Telemundo unit has also complained about its expensively acquired content being stolen.

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