BEIRUT: Lebanon’s judiciary Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by BeIN Sports against Tele Liban television over broadcasting rights, saying the case lacked jurisdiction.
The Court of Urgent Matters under Judge Zalfa Hassan rejected the case, which BeIN sports filed last month against the state-sponsored Tele Liban over broadcasting World Cup 2014 matches without authorization.
Speaking outside the Justice Palace in Beirut, Tele Liban’s director Talal Makdessi said: “We won’t stop until we get our right.”
Makdessi repeatedly thanked the Lebanese media, the court, civil society, and the Telecommunications Ministry for their support, calling the case a “rightful” one.
The hashtag “We are with you Tele Liban” and “In support of Tele Liban” trended in Arabic on Twitter Friday as the Lebanese waited for the verdict following the hearing, which began at 7 p.m.
Makedessi said the station would continue “to defend the rights of the Lebanese.”
The Tele Liban head had confirmed earlier this week that the channel would be broadcasting the remaining games regardless of the lawsuit.
BeIN Sports had granted exclusive broadcasting rights to the Lebanese firm Sama, who priced the World Cup package at more than $100 per household.
After public outcry over the expensive package, Telecommunications Minister Boutros Harb announced that the state would pay $3 million to Sama to cover the company’s losses and give broadcasting rights to Lebanese TV cable providers.
The deal between the ministry and the company still left some Lebanese without access to the World Cup, notably those who possess their own receivers or others who do not have any access to satellite channels at all.
As a result, Makdessi decided to broadcast all the World Cup matches, saying he would sacrifice his job for the sake of providing the Lebanese in general, and specifically the poor.