Pirated TV Channels broadcast trouble

If you are purchasing pre-paid television packages purportedly providing live Indian television channels, you may be running the risk of being shut off at some stage or worse, being penalised for patronising piracy.

New Zealand is among the many countries that are getting tough on people dealing with hackers, providers of unauthorised television services and other offenders, and according to available information, those contravening the existing laws may be subject to heavy penalties and other punitive measures for not only those trading these spurious products and services but also those subscribing to them.

Authorised provider

Vision Asia (which is celebrating its 14th anniversary this month) was the first to establish an authorised Indian television in New Zealand in August 2000, bringing news, features and entertainment from Indian television channels. The Company has witnessed impressive growth on either side of the Tasman and today offers a bouquet of 12 channels as standard subscription and a choice of additional channels in Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam (the last two not available in New Zealand).

Konnect TV, another Australia-based company also provides similar services.

Standard package

The rise in Indian population has led to an upsurge in demand for Indian television channels but many, unable or unwilling to afford high subscription rates (about $70 per month for a standard package) of ‘officially registered companies’ opt for other providers, most of who may be transmitting illegally after downloading from the Internet or other unofficial sources.

According to an industry source, ‘Jadoo’ is one such, which is described as “a menace all over the world including New Zealand and Australia.”

Raid in India

According to the Times of India, the Hyderabad Police recently busted a satellite television piracy racket and produced four alleged perpetrators at a media meeting.

Hyderabad Police Commissioner Mahender Reddy told the media that the pirates would subscribe to various Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite TV connections, convert the signals into encrypted streaming content through electronic equipment (of Chinese manufacture) for broadcasting on ‘Jadoo TV’ web portal based in the US.

“Based on a complaint lodged by Krishna Kumar, Manager (Distribution) of Maa Television Network Limited, officials of the Central Crime Station raided a flat in Manasarovar Apartments in Trimulgherry and picked up Mir Kashif Ali Khan (software engineer), Jagadishwara Chari (TV channels monitoring in-charge), N Sai Kumar (tele-caller) and J B Meghanandhan (web designer), who used to illegally provide live streaming videos of several Indian satellite TV channels to Jadoo TV. The gang, managed by Sumit Ahuja, has been involved in satellite TV signal piracy from Hyderabad for over six years,” he said.

Mr Reddy said that Mr Ahuja rented the flat in the name of M/S Pearl Technology about 18 months ago and started the business with a small team of technical experts.

“Jadoo TV is run by Faisal Aftab and Sajid Sohail from USA,” he said.

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