Saudi clamp on illegal Pay TV decoders
Riyadh, April 12, 2009
The Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information (MoCI), in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Finance, is implementing a nation-wide ban on illegal Pay TV decoder boxes.
The Ministry of Finance has issued directives to Saudi Customs to further study implementation strategies compatible with the programme and has announced a ban on illegal decoders, said a statement.
In a similar move, the Ministry of Commerce has sent directives to the ministry labs in Saudi Customs as well to prohibit the import of illegal decoders through the country’s ports of entry.
MoCI Undersecretary Abdul Rahman Al Hazzaa said: “We are working hard to establish the kingdom as a leader in piracy reduction among GCC countries. This latest initiative is just one of many steps we have taken recently to ensure that importers of illegal Pay TV decoder boxes will be eventually caught. The kingdom is taking a strong stance against piracy because it compromises religious values, weakens the economy, tarnishes the country’s image, and hurts consumers.
“Saudi Arabia is a pioneer in pan-Arab satellite television, so it fully understands the implications of illegal TV channel decryption on the industry,” said said Scott Butler, CEO, Arabian Anti-piracy Alliance.
“This crime victimises companies that invest heavily in the acquisition of broadcasting rights, and also threatens the employment of thousands of hard-working employees of the TV broadcasting sector. From a consumer perspective it may seem like a good deal to buy these devices, but what they actually purchase is unreliable equipment that also makes them part of criminal activities. The ministries should thus be commended for acting firmly in the interest of consumers and businesses,” said Butler.
Illegal TV decoder boxes, which are used to decrypt pay TV channels, have been proliferating the Gulf market, prompting countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar to implement aggressive information and enforcement campaigns to curb the entry and sale of the devices. – TradeArabia News Service