Soccer Owner Says Talk Was Streamed Without Consent

     (CN) – A reporter from an Israeli sports network tricked the owner of a popular soccer team into having an “off-the record” phone conversation with him, when in reality his comments were being live-streamed worldwide, the Israeli businessman claims in court.
     In a complaint filed in Miami Dade County, Eliezer Tabib, the owner of the international soccer team Jerusalem Beitar, says that Moshe Primo from the Israeli television network, The Sports Channel, maliciously contacted him at his house to ask him about the team’s coach and its players.
     The Sports Channel aka Channel 5 or Sport 5 has five sports networks that broadcast different events and related shows via cable, Internet and satellite transmission, and its website transmits the channel’s programming, which is regularly “live-streamed.”
     Tabib claims that he has occasionally engaged in off-the record conversations with various media sources because it allows him to confidentially eliminate unfounded rumors, and to clarify misreported points about his team.
     Tabib, who also owns a group of Florida companies that operate a chain of retail stores for tourists and local vacationers, says he enjoyed a friendly and professional relationship with Primo for almost 20 years, and that Primo had always respected his privacy.
     On April 6 2016, Tabib says that Primo called him at his home in Israel without disclosing that the conversation was being live-streamed on The Sports Channel’s website.
     “Primo wanted to discuss primarily certain rumors regarding the possible replacement of Beitar’s head coach, as well as the primary patterns of one of the younger players for Beitar,” Tabib says.
     Tabib claims Primo knew his comments on false rumors of a coaching replacement for Beitar, and on an individual player, would look terrible under the public’s eye, but Primo just wanted to get the “scoop.”
     As the conversation continued, Tabib claims that since he didn’t know that his comments were being live-streamed he said some unkind words regarding Primo’s colleague, who he believed was the source of all the bogus rumors about his soccer team, and he also spoke on a harsh tone about other private and confidential issues.
     Tabib says that a few minutes into the phone conversation he became suspicious and asked Primo to disclose whether he was “recording” the call to what he stated “I recorded, but I don’t have to put it in after that.”
     After Primo admitted that he was recording Tabib’s thoughts and insights without his consent, Tabib told him “You’re not a human,” but he continued to falsely assert that the conversation would remain private and off- the record.
     Tabib claims that even though he still didn’t know that his comments were being broadcasted to a worldwide audience, he became aggravated and hanged up the phone on Primo.
     According to the complaint, Tabib’s conversation with Primo was picked up and reproduced by several news outlets, including Haaertz, Israel’s oldest newspaper, which is published in English and Hebrew both in print and online.
     Tabib’s comments also “became the subject of a Saturday Night Live-style Israeli parody,” the complaint says.
     Tabib says that after the “Live-Streamed Private Conversation” was disseminated he left his home in Israel, and traveled to his home in Florida to escape the media spotlight that The Sports Channel had created around him, but his comments had also been reported by the media in Florida causing a negative impact on his businesses.
     “The Sports Channel itself has admitted in a press statement that its live-streaming of Mr. Tabib’s private statements was an egregious error that warranted an internal correction to prevent a repeat or such willful misconduct and invasion of privacy,” the complaint says.
     Tabib is seeking compensatory damages on claims of invasion of privacy, violation of Florida Secrecy in Communications Act and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
     He is represented by Courtney Caprio from Sinclair, Louis & Zavertnik PA from Miami, Fla.
     The Sports Channel Ltd. could not be reached for comment.

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