IP&TV News talks to Lucas Catranis (Service Manager, Revenue Assurance Services Irdeto) about piracy in the MENA region…
IP&TV News: Hi Lucas. We know you’re going to be appearing at TV Connect MENA (2-3 November 2015 Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai). What’s Irdeto’s presence in the region like right now?
Lucas Catranis: We have a pretty decent client base in the region; beIN SPORTS, My-HD, Abu Dhabi Media, Al-Majd, CNE, and MBC are our current customers.
We certainly have a lot of interest in the region – we also have an anti-piracy team there. For us we see a lot of significance in having a presence there, and it’s a growing region, so piracy is going to be pretty prevalent over there.
Our customers place a strong emphasis in fighting it so we have a special interest in being involved.
Tell us about what the piracy patterns and behaviours are like in the region?
You see these IPTV set top boxes with a control word sharing component to them as well, so they’re piggybacking off the legitimate pay-TV operators as well as supplementing the programming choices with IPTV stuff.
These are able to provide beIN SPORTS, OSN and premium NBC content as well as global content, so ESPN from the States, things of that nature, and they make a very compelling offering for potential customers in the region.
And what types of pirated content are popular in the region?
Premium live sport is definitely a big driver for interest in pirated content – so, Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga. Also, there’s strong interest as well in premium movies – so your studio releases, stuff that’s available on the Torrent networks that have been put into VOD format on the IPTV set top boxes is a driver.
Do you expect the growing availability of OTT content there to chip away at piracy?
Consumer frustration with content choice is a driver for piracy, and as it becomes more available in a legitimate fashion, operators need to raise awareness. But it’s also important to drive people away from the mechanisms through which they’re consuming the content right now from a pirated standpoint and back to the legitimate operators.