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Bein sports 6 In the wake of the ongoing diplomatic crisis between Qatar and other Arab nations, the beIN Sports channels were briefly banned in the United Arab Emirates in June 2017, and Saudi Arabia banned beIN from selling its subscriptions in the country.

The channels have since become available in Saudi Arabia via an unofficial satellite service known as beoutQ, which repackages beIN Sports channels as their own by overlaying its own digital on-screen graphics on the feed. beIN has published evidence linking the service Arabsat, but its operators have consistently denied any involvement. The beoutQ service has been criticised by a number of sports sanctioning bodies and event organisers due to its commercial-scale copyright infringement.

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beIN Sports’ market positions in some regions have led to concerns over the network’s dominance. In 2016, French authorities blocked a deal by beIN Sports France to sub-license its sports properties to Canal+ Sport, as it would have given the partnership control of 80% of French sports media rights. At the 2017 World Men’s Handball Championship, whose international media rights were owned by beIN Sports, French radio stations declined to air the tournament as beIN Sports wanted them to pay administrative fees about five times higher than technical cost, in violation of French law.

The 2017 Africa Cup of Nations were also left without domestic television coverage in four MENA region countries participating in the tournament – Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia – due to exorbitant sublicensing fees being demanded from free-to-air broadcasters by beIN as the region’s rightsholder.

In August 2018, beIN Sports was fined, and subsequently banned from operating in Saudi Arabia, with the government citing its forced bundling of the networks with unrelated services.

beIN criticised the actions as being politically-motivated. The following March, beIN’s rights to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) were stripped in Saudi Arabia to «cancel» its monopoly on the sport, due to the «illegality of BeIN Sport [sic] to transmit in the Kingdom due to the grave violations of the laws and regulations BeIN Sport has committed», and «its inability to obtain the required licenses necessary for it to fulfil its commitments in transmitting AFC’s competitions to the viewers and followers in the Kingdom». beIN threatened legal action, accusing the AFC of colluding with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation to breach its contract