Satellites

24% Hong Kong viewers use TV boxes to stream pirated content: CASBAA

24% Hong Kong viewers use TV boxes to stream pirated content: CASBAA

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MUMBAI: In a recent survey of the content viewing behaviour of Hong Kong consumers, released by CASBAA, the trade association for the video industry and ecosystem in Asia-Pacific, it was found that close to one in four consumers (24 per cent) use a TV box which can be used to stream pirated television and video content.

These TV boxes are known as illicit streaming devices (ISD) and allow users to access thousands of pirated television channels and VOD content with the payment of one-time fee. TV boxes BossTV (9 per cent), Ubox (7 per cent), EVPad (6 per cent), Lingcod (5 per cent), and Magic Box (4 per cent), which come pre-loaded with applications allowing ‘plug-and-play’ access to pirated content, are among the most popular ISDs among Hong Kong consumers.

“The ISD ecosystem is impacting all businesses involved in the production and distribution of legitimate content. ISD piracy is also organised crime, pure and simple, with crime syndicates making substantial illicit revenues from the provision of illegally re-transmitted TV channels and the sale of such ISDs,” said CASBAA chief executive officer Louis Boswell as quoted by DigitalTVEurope.com

The survey also found that some of the world’s top e-retail stores and social media platforms are preferred destinations where Hong Kong consumers acquire their ISDs and other devices used for pirating video content.

Of those consumers who own an ISD, about half of respondents (49 per cent) claim to have purchased their illicit streaming device from Sham Shui Po, a popular local electronics hotspot. The survey also found that some of the world’s top e-retail stores and social media platforms are preferred destinations where Hong Kong consumers acquire their ISDs and other devices used for pirating video content from. Additionally, ISDs are particularly favoured among 25 to 34-year-olds and high-income earners with university degrees.

According to a quote given by CASBAA’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) MD Neil Gane to Advanced Television, “the damage that content theft does to the creative industries is without dispute. However, the damage done to consumers themselves, because of the nexus between content piracy and malware, is only beginning to be recognised. The piracy ecosystem is a hotbed for malware, whether purchasing ISDs from Sham Shui Po’s Golden Arcade or downloading content from infamous torrent sites. Unfortunately the appetite for free or paying cheap subscription rates for stolen content, blinkers some consumers from the real risks of malicious malware infection such as spyware.”

CAP includes leading video content creators and distributors in Asia. Members include: beIN Sports, CASBAA, Discovery, The Walt Disney Company, Fox Networks Group, HBO Asia, NBCUniversal, Premier League, Turner Asia-Pacific, A&E Networks, Astro, BBC Worldwide, CANAL+, Cignal, La Liga, Media Partners Asia, National Basketball Association, PCCW Media, Singtel, Sony Pictures Television Networks Asia, TVB, True Visions, TV5MONDE, and Viacom International Media Networks.

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