ART and Viaccess 'end Middle East pay TV piracy'

LIVE FROM IBC: New STB and CA system close off final piracy loopholes.
SPECIAL REPORTS, Exhibitions coverage, IBC 2009

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The Middle East’s largest pay TV operator, ART, has claimed to have closed off the final entry point for pirates as it continues to rollout its latest set top box (STB).

Two of the instrumental vendors in the new system Viaccess and Open Tech have been demonstrating the related products at this year’s IBC exhibition.

“Piracy is just theft at the end of the day and that is what we should call pirates – thieves,” said Steve Bjuvgard, head of ART’s anti-piracy unit.

“We have the Middle East rights to the 2010 and 2014 World Cup and with this new box we have made it literally impossible for pirates to access. There will be no illegal viewers of next year’s World Cup in the Middle East.”

Conditional access developer Viaccess said it believed the entire region would call upon its products once the effectiveness of the ART system had been proved.

Despite the optimism surrounding the progress made in securing satellite broadcasts, Bjuvgard admits that there is still work to be done to keep the company’s content off online video portals.

“We have two members of staff dedicated to watching online video content and flagging up material that is ours,” revealed Bjuvgard who also said he intends to ramp up co-operation with online platforms in the build-up to next year’s World Cup in South Africa.

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