Since its formation in March 2014 by major Middle East broadcasters, satellite operators and service providers, the Broadcast Satellite Anti-Piracy Coalition has taken some important steps in its battle against the region’s vast number of pirate TV channels.
As a result of the continuous monitoring and reporting of intellectual property infringements, the following channels are now off air: Al-Mamnou, Ahl Masar, CDC Cinema, CRT Cinema, Homos TV, I-Movies, Hollywood Stars, Kit Kat, Majestic 2, Mega Cinema, Nessma Al Khadra, QTV, Scope TV Movies, Time Movies and Top Movies. According to the Coalition, these channels alone were responsible for more than 700 infringements of intellectual property rights for studio owned movies since January 2014.
Members of the Coalition are: Arabsat, ART, du, Egyptian Chamber of Cinema, Eutelsat, IAA, JMC, MBC Group, Motion Picture Association of America (MPA), Nilesat, Noorsat, OSN, Rotana, STN, Viewsat and WWE.
Radi Alkhas, JMC CEO, reported that his company uplinked 300 TV channels to different satellites. “We always coordinate with our customers for any copy right infringements. Up ’til now, we have taken down two TV channels: Al-Mamnou and Majestic 2.”
“The alliance of industry players is trying to combat thousands of hours of pirated content broadcasted to millions of viewers in the region,” noted Sam Barnett, MBC Group CEO. “Pirate channels damage all legitimate producers, actors, production companies and broadcasters. It’s essential for the health of the sector across the region, that the pirates are challenged,” he declared.
Speaking on behalf of the International Advertising Association – Global Office, Faris Abouhamad, Chairman and World President, said the Association, along with all of its stakeholders, members, corporate or individual, clients, ad agencies, and media owners, did not support any type of piracy or infringement on the intellectual property rights of any of its industry components. “Hence we have asked all stakeholders involved not to support any channel identified by the coalition as an offender. Furthermore the IAA will take measurements to point out such irregularities to its members, especially clients, to safeguard their investments and reputation in the market,” he averred.
David Butorac, Chief Executive Officer of OSN, said the television industry’s sustained growth depended on recurring investments made by leading channels and networks to promote talent and create new content. “A significant portion of TV channel revenues is in fact reinvested in the business. Illegal operators adversely impact the industry by not only accessing content illegally, but also denying up-and-coming creative talent the opportunity to evolve, as TV piracy impacts the potential investments that channels can make,” he warned.