Regional satellite television broadcaster, Showtime, has decided to step up its combat against piracy by introducing an upgraded encoding system for its programming. As of March 1, subscribers will not be able to receive Showtime channels without the new smart cards, designed specifically for the broadcasters’ signals.
According to company estimates, Showtime faces annual revenue loses of up to $100 million, caused by pirate signal distributors that transfer the broadcasters’ service at a price much lower than Showtime’s $49 monthly subscription fee.
Showtime, a digital satellite pay-TV network, is a joint media venture between Viacom, an international provider of entertainment services, and KIPCO (Kuwait Projects). Showtime’s 15-channel line-up of predominantly Western television family entertainment covers the Middle East and North Africa region.
According to Showtime, its target Arab world market currently has approximately 19 million television households. Saudi Arabia and Egypt have around four million and 8.5 million television households respectively, while Lebanon and Syria are also significant markets with an estimated 3.5 million television households. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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