Cable TV

Casbaa leads raids on rogue cable ops in Philippines

MUMBAI: The Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (Casbaa) has launched an intensive enforcement campaign against Philippines' pirate pay-TV operators, starting with police raids on cable companies in Mindanao on 21 September, and in Metro Manila on 23 and 26 September.



“This is the first of a series of high-impact actions the industry is taking to highlight the seriousness of cable signal theft in the Philippines, especially for legitimate, law-abiding Filipino cable and satellite TV operators,” said Casbaa CEO Simon Twiston Davies.

Casbaa is an industry-based advocacy group that promotes pay-TV services via cable, satellite, broadband and wireless video networks across the Asia-Pacific.



The recent Casbaa-instigated raids on renegade cable operators were undertaken in co-operation with the National Bureau of Investigation of the Philippines (NBI).

Casbaa said it had been conducting surveillance of the target companies for several months taking note of the re-transmission of pay-TV programming which had not been authorised by the channel providers or their legitimate distributors in the Philippines.

“In many cases unscrupulous operators steal the pay-TV signals and resell them for significant profit,” said Twiston Davies. “Our data shows aggregated industry losses in the Philippines for 2004 of $70 million and preliminary estimates for 2005 suggest that this figure has increased significantly.

Casbaa data showed 880,000 legitimate and 650,000 illegitimate cable and satellite TV subscribers in the Philippines in 2004. For 2005 the problem would appear to have worsened with an increase in the number of illegal cable connections and a drop in the number of legitimate subscriptions.

Casbaa noted that the target cable companies were stealing popular cable television channels such as CNN International, AXN, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, Disney Channel, ESPN, Star Sports, Star Movies, Star World, HBO, MTV and National Geographic Channel.

Casbaa is working closely with players in the local industry who use legitimate programming and government agencies such as the NTC and the Department of Trade and Industry – Intellectual Property Office to curb signal theft.

In pursuit of the Association’s agenda Casbaa recently staged a seminar in Bangkok with the Thai Department of Intellectual Property and supported a series of technical principles to protect content output from digital set-top boxes.

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