Orbit-Showtime cuts off 5m pirates

Middle East pay-TV operator Orbit Showtime Network is about to initiate an improved conditional access system designed to disable an estimated five million pirates, many viewing on so-called Dreambox receivers. Owners of Dreambox units use the internet to update the latest pirate software to view encrypted programming.

Orbit Showtime (OSN), which merged their rival services in July 2009, say that from December 19th their new encryption comes into use for their subscribers. Viewers are being told via an on-air campaign to upgrade to the new OSN Showbox-HD to avoid disrupted viewing.

David Butorac, the newly-appointed CEO of OSN said: “From the 19th we will be switching our signals to a form that is not pirated and will not be pirated [in the future]. In so doing, the illegal reception of our signals to receivers such as the Dreambox will cease. It is a great opportunity to welcome customers who enjoy watching us but who… resist the opportunity to pay us.” Butorac said the five million estimated pirates could be a very conservative estimate.

Helping tempt the pirates back to legitimate viewing is a portfolio of 12 HDTV channels, plus a promised 3D VOD channel which also launches this month.

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