beIN Sports has filed a lawsuit against the state-run Tele Liban for airing the World Cup games for free and without permission, TL announced on Saturday evening.
"beIN decided to sue the nation's television channel TL over airing the World Cup matches,” sports analyst at the state's network Ali Alawiyeh announced right before the Brazil-Chile game kicked off on Saturday evening.
Tele Liban started broadcasting its first 2014 World Cup match on June 16, although a deal reached between the government and beIN Sports' sole agent in Lebanon did not involve granting TL the rights to air the tournament.
On that same day, Telecommunications Minister Butros Harb had announced that the Lebanese would be able to watch the Brazil-hosted FIFA World Cup, which had already kicked off a week earlier, without paying any additional fees.
But the National Media Council expressed reservation on the agreement which fell short of allowing TL to broadcast the tournament to citizens who do not have cable subscriptions.
beIN Sports is a global network of sports channels jointly owned and operated by Qatari Sports Investments, an affiliate of Al-Jazeera Media Networks. It has purchased the rights to broadcast the World Cup in the Middle East.
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