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Wed 25 Apr 2018 08:39 AM

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Middle East crackdown sees 22 pirate TV channels shut down

A total of 2.71 billion downloads of pirated content were made in the last year, according to the MENA Broadcast Satellite Anti-Piracy Coalition

Middle East crackdown sees 22 pirate TV channels shut down
According to the Anti-Piracy Coalition, there have been 2.71 billion downloads of pirated content in the last year alone.

A total of 22 pirate television channels that were broadcasting content illegally have been shut down over the course of the last year, the MENA Broadcast Satellite Anti-Piracy Coalition announced on Wednesday.

Among the channels whose broadcasts were halted include Top Movies on the satellite Yahsat, as well as HOGAR, Misr Elbalad and Josat on Eutelsat, all of which were found to be illegally broadcasting foreign content.

Additionally, a number of illegal Arabic-language channels were shut down, including Egypt Life, 2M Comedy and 2M Film on the satellite Yahsat, as well as A Cinema, Wave Cinema, Egypt Life, Misr Al Balad, Beirut Cinema, Cinema B, T-Film, T-Cinema, T-Taxi and T-Comedy on Eutelsat Moon.

According to the Anti-Piracy Coalition, there have been 2.71 billion downloads of pirated content in the last year alone.

“Content piracy in the Middle East takes money away from the legitimate producers and broadcasters and transfers it to organised criminals,” said Sam Barnett, the CEO of MBC Group.

“This is hugely destructive to our sector and a constraint on growth. We believe much more can be done to stop this blight with cooperation across all honest players and regulators.”

Speaking ahead of World Intellectual Property Day on April 26, Martin Stewart, the CEO of OSN – a founding member of the Anti-Piracy Coalition – said that efforts to combat piracy, particularly on the internet, “can only be undertaken in close collaboration with partners and regulators across the region.”

Ola Khudair, vice chairman of the Arabian Anti-Piracy Alliance, said that the UAE and Saudi government have collectively blocked 175 websites for infringing content belonging to MBC Group.

“More steps can be taken by ministries and telecommunication regulators to highlight piracy, and turn consumers of piracy to legitimate content,” she added.

Established in 2014, the Anti-Piracy Coalition includes major satellite operators, content production and distribution companies, as well as large international companies including Paramount, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros and Universal.