Television piracy has been in place for some years and regulatory authorities around the world are trying hard to regulate the same. Broadcasting of TV signals within a territory is regulated by licensing terms. However, if TV signals are broadcasted within a territory without any licence, then it is illegal and may be liable to be prosecuted as well. Some of the Indian players in this field are facing the heat of regulatory authorities of UAE.
As per media reports, many users of Dish TV or TataSky services in UAE have been doing the same against express prohibition. Regulatory authorities in UAE are looking for such users of Dish TV or TataSky so that they can be prosecuted, if required. The problem has arisen due to illegal import of set-top boxes that are used to receive TV signals at much lower rates than as existing in the country.
Most of the users are not aware that although they are paying for such services by presuming them to be legal yet they are illegal in nature. For instance, Dish TV set-top boxes are hugely popular with Indian expats and a monthly subscription for the service costs less than Dh50. In comparison, a similar package in the UAE costs between Dh264 to Dh477 per month. Several small shops dealing in satellite and television services have already been raided by police authorities for promoting such set-top boxes.
As per existing regulations in UAE, importing of set-top boxes into the UAE is not allowed and anyone found with it could face action, in accordance with the UAE laws. However, the legal warning has not stopped people from using television services provided by companies outside the UAE.
Once an illegal viewing card is seized, authorities make an effort to block the viewing card by reaching out to the set top box provider. This required cooperation between law enforcement agencies of UAE and India on the other hand and Indian set top box providers like Dish TV or TataSky on the other hand. The help of broadcasters is also taken to switch the illegal cards off.