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Pay-TV piracy across the Asia Pacific needs to be addressed urgently'

Anuradha Shukla | July 19, 2010
Advice by the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia

SHENZHEN, CHINA, 19 JULY 2010 -- The Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA), the association focused on the promotion of multi-channel television across the Asia-Pacific via broadband, cable, satellite and wireless video, has recognised the urgency of dealing with ongoing pay-TV content piracy plaguing operators today.

Support of treaty

To this end, the CASBAA supports the implementation of and support for a powerful treaty by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the agency tasked to promote the protection of intellectual property worldwide through eliciting state cooperation.

The CASBAA made this statement at an international seminar on copyright protection that was organised in New Delhi, India on 12 July. The seminar was a joint effort between the WIPO and the Indian government.

Data presented by the CASBAA showed that piracy was not only rampant but also exceedingly disadvantageous to broadcasters. The CASBAA said losses from pay-TV leakage in Asia equalled almost US$2 billion in 2009. This, despite solutions such as digital deployments to increase the difficulty associated with signal theft of pay TV. In addition, other aspects of broadcast today, such as online services, have only added to the challenges experienced by companies and the industry as a whole.

Need for collaboration

To remedy the situation, CASBAA is urgently requesting both the industry and governments of concerned states to work together and use tools such as legal frameworks, technology and enforcement measures to deal with this issue. More specifically, it seeks to work with organisations like WIPO, which is promoting a new international treaty to protect broadcaster rights and combat piracy.

Anjan Mitra, CASBAA  executive director, India, said the ongoing piracy of video content is currently the most significant barrier to investment and innovation in the pay-TV industry today.

Piracy severely impacts broadcaster revenues and, as a result, dampens incentives to offer consumers premium content. Mitra presented case studies on pay-TV content piracy in the Philippines, Australia, China and Vietnam. A key CASBAA priority, said Mitra, was the fight against piracy, which can eventually destroy the industry as a whole if left unchecked. This is the reason CASBAA supports a powerful WIPO treaty, which can help protect broadcasters by successfully giving all concerned the tools they need to fight pay-TV piracy.


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