13-17 July: Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.
Saudi Arabia bans beIN Sports
The Saudi Arabian government has permanently banned beIN Sports from broadcasting in the country, with the government in Riyadh also fining the Qatari broadcaster.
BeIN has been prevented from broadcasting in Saudi for three years after the Kingdom suspended its licence as part of a wider dispute with Qatar.
Earlier this week, the Saudi General Authority for Competition (GAC) said that beIN Sports’ licence to broadcast was cancelled permanently and Qatar would be fined 10m Saudi riyals (£2.1m).
The dispute has been long-running, with beIN accusing Saudi Arabia of backing pirate station beoutQ. Last month a World Trade Organization report said the Kingdom had facilitated the operations of beoutQ, which has now been shut down.
In a statement, BeIN said the latest decision was ”nonsensical on every single level” and “plainly absurd.”
Sky Italia names Gabriella Vacca as CTO
Gabriella Vacca has been named as the new CTO of Sky’s Italian unit.
Vacca joins Sky Italia from parent company Comcast where she held the position of vice president of enterprise technology solutions.
“I am sure [Gabriella’s] ability to devise technological solutions that create value will help us to be even more competitive and innovative in our business, where new ideas and versatility are now essential,” said Sky Italia CEO Maximo Ibarra.
ECJ backs YouTube in pirate privacy dispute
The European Court of Justice has ruled that YouTube is not required to give investigators private contact details of anyone who uploads pirated content to the platform.
The case, which was brought by a German court, sought to establish whether the Google-owned video service must hand over individual’s data in efforts to combat piracy.
The case concerned German film distributor Constantin Film, which asked YouTube and Google to provide the email addresses, telephone numbers and IP addresses of users who uploaded content it owned rights to in 2013/14.
“When a film is unlawfully uploaded onto an online platform, such as YouTube, the rights holder may, under the directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, require the operator to provide only the postal address of the user concerned, but not his or her email, IP address or telephone number,” said the ECJ.
BritBox names Australian chief ahead of Down Under launch
Network 10 digital executive Moira Hogan has joined streaming platform BritBox ahead of its planned launch in Australia.
BritBox confirmed plans to launch down under earlier this year, with Hogan set to lead on strategy for launching the BBC/ITV joint venture.
“Moira has an impressive background in launching and growing digital products, with experience across content, commercial and strategy,” said Fiona Lang, general manager for BBC Studios ANZ. “She has the ambition and vision to lead this exciting new offering for Australian audiences.
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