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Mid-East TV piracy – in Nigeria -
Mid-East TV piracy – in Nigeria
Broadcasting satellite-delivered wide-beam signals can have unexpected consequences. Orbit-Showtime, the recently “merged” pay-TV broadcasters over the Middle East, is involved in litigation taking place in far-off Nigeria, where cable companies are alleged to have pirated Showtime signals.
A detailed report in Nigeria’s ‘Vanguard’ newspaper of Oct 31, says a Lagos High Court sitting last week heard that satellite/cable company Hi Media Group also known as HiTV had dragged a cable outfit, CTL to court over alleged piracy of its content. HiTV maintains that CTL had continuously infringed on its rights by re-broadcasting its content - especially its premium sports content.
Orbit Showtime, based in Dubai had written a letter to Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Communication, Prof Dora Akunyuli, alleging that some cable outfits have been pirating its content in Nigeria. Dated September 1, and signed by Gordon Finlayson, Director of Legal, Orbit Showtime, the letter was titled ‘The Illegal Use Of Showtime Decoders And Smartcards For Piracy Of The Barclays English Premier League Matches In Nigeria’, and complained bitterly about the alleged infringement on its content.
The letter, in part, stated “Orbit Showtime is the exclusive licensee in [the Middle East] for the Barclays Premier League for the 2009/2010 season. We understand that a number of cable operators (as specified below) and distributors located in various parts of Nigeria have obtained our smartcards to use for the unauthorised broadcast of the Premier League matches in Nigeria – a territory that Orbit Showtime is not licensed to operate in and has no rights to broadcast Premier League matches.”
The court adjourned the matter to November 16, 2009