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MENA Broadcast Anti-Piracy coalition celebrates purge of pirate channels


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The MENA Broadcast Satellite Anti-Piracy Coalition is celebrating the purge of pirate channels following public commitments by all its service providers to clean up the system by Thursday.
The breakthrough came at the coalition’s 10th meeting in Dubai attended by the region’s major broadcasters and satellite providers.
All but one of the service providers reported that they had already removed channels proven to be broadcasting content that did not belong to them.
Noorsat made a public commitment at the meeting that it would comply by Thursday provided other operators agree to maintain their current position.
Sam Barnett, MBC CEO, said: “The coalition has been successful in highlighting where and how piracy happens, and the joint action to remove pirates from the region’s satellites is a great step. Noorsat’s commitment to take down the remaining pirate channels within days is clearly welcome.”
The coalition also reinforced its commitment to protect content against illegal satellite distribution, and agreed to widen its focus to include new threats from Internet piracy.
The coalition was set up in 2014, bringing together major broadcast satellite providers, (Eutelsat, Arabsat, Gulfsat) and content production and distribution companies (MBC, OSN, Rotana, ART, CNE and the MPA) to fight pirate channel operators.
For the first time, members discussed the increasing threat from illegal Internet streaming and downloads and agreed to work together to lobby regional regulators.
Sophie Moloney, OSN chief legal officer, presented the latest industry research showing IPTV piracy is growing at an alarming rate and fast becoming “normalized behavior” within the family home. According to Britain’s The Industry Trust, the sale of IPTV boxes has risen by 99 percent globally in the last 12 months and 25 percent of users admit watching illegal content services.
“Our industry faces a number of threats from illegal satellite distributors as well as from the emerging scourge of Internet content piracy. The worrying thing is that illegal IPTV providers are openly selling their hardware and services through social media in the Middle East,” explained Moloney.

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