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Sling TV offers legal alternative to TVpad

In the wake of federal court action and subsequent enforcement efforts to shut down the distribution of pirated content via the “TVpad” streaming device, Sling TV has announced a promotion to help connect US-based fans of Chinese television with a legal, reliable source of popular programming.
Earlier this year, DISH Network (of which Sling TV is a subsidiary), China Central Television (CCTV), China International Communications (CICC), and TVB USA filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of the TVpad device for allegedly setting up a pirate broadcasting network designed to illegally stream CCTV and TVB channels using peer-to-peer technology.

As a result, the US District Court for the Central District of California issued a preliminary injunction to halt the illegal distribution of CCTV and TVB content on TVpad. The preliminary injunction prohibits dealers from distributing, advertising, marketing or promoting TVpad devices that deliver CCTV’s or TVB’s copyrighted content. The injunction also prohibits Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from providing web, server, or file hosting services used to illegally distribute Chinese programming. ISPs have begun complying, terminating internet connections and thereby disrupting the TVpad device.

To help former TVpad users find an affordable, reliable and legal way to watch the Chinese shows they enjoy, Sling TV recently announced a new promotion for popular Chinese programming. Under the promotion, customers can get Sling’s “Great Wall” and “Jade” packages for one year, plus a Roku 2, for just $99. Sling TV brings consumers content from 30 popular Chinese channels, including TVBHD, TVB1, TVB2, TVBe, TVB Drama and top CCTV channels. The promotion is available at sling.com/tvpad1 (Chinese language) or sling.com/tvpad2 (English language).

“The court took an important step to protect consumers from paying for a product that delivers content obtained illegally, and we are pleased by the response we’ve seen from ISPs who have complied with our enforcement efforts,” said Chris Kuelling, senior vice president of International Programming for Sling TV. “Together with our programming partners, we will not stand for piracy, whether via TVpad or another device, and we want consumers to know they have a reliable, affordable and legal option through Sling TV to obtain the shows they want to see.”

“The injunction against TVpad is a major success in our efforts against pirates who distribute our television programs without authorisation and for their own monetary gain,” said Samuel Tsang, vice president, Operations for TVB USA. “The public should not be misled. Operators of pirate boxes do not have copyright licenses from TVB to distribute TVB programs in the United States. Users may be paying hundreds of dollars for a pirate box and hundreds more to upgrade the hardware to continue using the device. We obtained an injunction against TVpad and we intend to take strong action against other pirate boxes as well. We will be relentless in our efforts to shut down devices that illegally distribute TVB programming.”

“Consumers expect to watch the content they purchased, but when that content comes from an illegal source, they end up ripped off, frustrated and missing the shows they enjoy,” said Chunguang Lu, President of CICC. “The court’s action will help prevent consumers from being exploited, while also protecting the copyrighted works of CCTV and other programmers.”

CCTV is the largest television broadcaster in mainland China, and TVB USA’s parent company, Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), is the largest television broadcaster in Hong Kong. DISH holds certain rights to transmit CCTV and TVB television programming in the United States.

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