OSN, the region’s leading pay-TV network, organised an in-depth workshop for the officials of various Bahraini Ministries and government departments on the adverse economic impact of TV piracy and ways to identify its different forms.
Security experts from OSN, which also spearheads the Anti-Piracy Coalition with leading satellite service providers, conducted the insightful session. More than 25 officials took part in the workshop, including high-ranking representatives from Customs and Police including the Director of Press and Publication from the Information Affairs Authority.
David Butorac, CEO of OSN, said: “We are thankful to the Bahraini authorities for their continued support to our efforts in curbing TV piracy. It is extremely important to stay one-step up in the game against pirates by understanding how they utilise digital technology and new platforms to violate the intellectual property rights of legal content providers. The workshop was aimed at strengthening awareness among all stakeholders on the various aspects of TV piracy and enabling them to identify and take prompt action against the perpetuators.”
The session covered the different forms of TV piracy including illegal cables, the use of hybrid decoders and digital piracy. Experts underlined the negative impact of TV piracy on the local economy, with millions of dinars being lost in exclusive rights by satellite providers.
They also explained how the menace impacts young talent who are deprived of fair opportunities to pursue careers in the TV industry as piracy stifles the growth of the creative industry. The trainers pointed out that TV piracy is also leading to lesser investment of funds and resources by corporates, which in turn has a potential impact on job creation and the growth of several industries associated with the TV industry.
The Information Affairs Authority of Bahrain has been extending support to the Anti-Piracy Coalition having undertaken several raids at the offices of dealers as well as in hotels and worker camps. They have confiscated equipment, servers and illegal decoders that are used primarily to pirate South Asian satellite television content.
OSN will continue to organise need-based workshops to mobilise further support for the Anti-Piracy Coalition’s initiatives. Other government departments are also being identified for potential sessions. OSN plans to extend the programme to other key markets in the region including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman.
Industry reports claim that piracy costs the TV industry over US$500 million per year. South Asian services Dish-TV, TataSky, Sun Direct, Airtel and Reliance decoders are all illegal in the MENA region.