Pay-TV piracy on the rise in Asia: study

HONG KONG, Oct 24, 2006 (AFP) – Pay-TV piracy in Asia is estimated to cost the industry 1.13 billion US dollars in 2006, up 6.6 percent from 2005, a survey said Friday. The annual report by the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA), that studied TV markets across 11 Asian countries, said the number of illegal connections is expected to have risen 20 percent to 5.2 million in 2006.

India remains to be the region’s biggest loser to pay-TV piracy which is expected to cost the industry 685 million dollars, while Thailand will record the region’s second-highest loss at 160 million dollars.

Hong Kong will see a 29 percent increase in the loss of revenues to piracy at 32.4 million dollars as the number of illegal connections by individuals and rogue cable operators remains the biggest problem.

Illegal connections is estimated to have grown 16 percent year-on-year to 1.382 million in 2006.

CASBAA chief executive Simon Twiston Davies attributed the rampant piracy to the increase in illegal set-top boxes imported from China and urged the government to take stronger stance against the problem.

“Our organisation has long requested the Hon