ECA develops analysis on “Return to Play” protocols
The protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) is a central element of a well-functioning global order and underpins virtually all sectors of economic activity. The need to protect IPRs linked to the broadcasting of professional football is particularly vital given the importance of media rights revenue to the overall economic model of the game.
ECA therefore welcomes the conclusions issued by the WTO in relation to the activities of Saudi Arabian based broadcaster ‘beoutQ’ whose broadcasts constitute piracy of European football matches and therefore infringement of IPRs of ECA Member Clubs and of the competitions in which they compete. This ruling sets an important marker and clear warning by the highest authorities that audio-visual piracy by any means cannot be tolerated. ECA will continue to work hand-in-hand with fellow stakeholders and the relevant public authorities to protect the IPRs of its members and the organisers and commercial partners of the competitions in which they play, as a means to ensure the continued growth and prosperity of the professional game.