Abu Dhabi shuts down illegal TV services supplier

CID successfully conducts raid at shop selling unauthorised services from Dish TV
The shop was discovered selling unauthorised services and set-top boxes like the one pictured.
The shop was discovered selling unauthorised services and set-top boxes like the one pictured.


Following a complaint received from pay-TV network OSN, the Abu Dhabi Criminal Investigation Department (CID) successfully conducted a raid at a shop selling unauthorised subscription services and set top boxes from Indian pay-TV operator, Dish TV.

Following the raid, the CID authorities presented the case before the Abu Dhabi Court for illegal provision of TV content, backed with evidence seized during the raid which included Dish TV receivers and a computer.

Based on the evidence captured and applicable laws, the Abu Dhabi Court has now ordered the closure of the shop for one year, deportation of the shop manager, and imposed a fine of Dhs200,000. This judgment is subject to appeal, which has to be filed within 14 days.

David Butorac, CEO of OSN, said: “We are thankful to the CID and the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department for their swift and stern action that will dissuade operators and distributors of illegal TV services. The court verdict reiterates the seriousness with which the government regards TV piracy. We will continue to work with the authorities to curb TV piracy, which adversely impacts the TV and creative industry of the UAE.”

Based on complaints filed by OSN, the Department of Economic Development and Criminal Investigation Departments across the UAE have investigated and conducted 47 raids to-date covering hotels, shops and camps.

India based Direct-to-Home (DTH) overspill services such as Dish TV India, Airtel Digital TV, Sun Direct and Tata Sky are unlicensed and unauthorised to operate in the MENA region. According to industry reports, TV piracy costs the industry over US$500 million every year. The Anti-Piracy Coalition has launched a campaign called ‘Do the Right Thing,’ encouraging illegal pay-TV subscribers to swap their service for a legitimate OSN set-top box.

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