Sign up for PM Award Updates!

Qatar’s BeIN ‘categorically rejects’ Egypt court fine

March 15, 2018

Qatar’s BeIN media on Thursday slammed an Egyptian court’s decision to slap the sports broadcaster with another multimillion dollar fine, the second anti-trust case in a Cairo court this year.

“BeIN categorically rejects the local Egyptian court’s judgement and will pursue all available legal means to challenge it,” a spokesperson for the media group told AFP.

“The judgement is based on unfounded allegations by the Egyptian Competition Authority that have no basis in fact or law.”

The court in Cairo ordered a fine of 400 million Egyptian pounds ($22.7 million/18.3 million euros) to be paid by BeIN on charges of forcing its Egyptian customers to replace existing satellite dishes with new ones in order to catch the channel’s signal.

Monday’s verdict marked the second such case against BeIN in Egypt since January, when it was hit with another fine.

BeIN has said it would fight the latest ruling, which comes at a politically charged time in relations between Qatar and Egypt.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June, accusing Doha of supporting extremists and being too close to Iran. Qatar denies the allegations and accuses its rival of seeking regime change.

In 2014, Egypt’s anti-trust authority accused BeIN of violating rules by requiring viewers interested in football’s World Cup to subscribe for at least a year and purchase a specific satellite receiver.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) in July suspended and fined the coach of Cairo club Al-Ahly, Hossam El Badry, after he boycotted a news conference over the presence of BeIN Sports.

BeIN is headed by Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser al-Khelaifi, a Qatari tycoon who is also entangled in a FIFA corruption investigation of alleged corruption in the sale of World Cup television rights.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.