India: The Kodi Box scourge hits pay TV and SVOD

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Piracy in the form of Kodi boxes has made its way into India. These boxes, similar to set-top boxes (STBs) installed by TV distribution platforms, eats into the subscription revenues of not only the pay-TV industry but also the video streaming platforms. Kodi boxes started gaining currency during the Covid lockdown. Broadcasters and distributors were unable to take any action due to lockdown related restrictions.

Police have conducted raids against the sale of these boxes in multiple Indian provinces but they have proved to be ineffective. “It is like a parallel set-up, and they substitute your existing pay-TV service providers or subscribed OTT content. So you don’t need to be a subscriber to Tata Sky, Dish TV or a Hathway or for that matter services like Netflix or Disney+ Hotstar. They are gaining popularity,” said one industry lawyer.

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Read the full report at Exchange4Media (India)

Why it matters

Illegal distribution terminates in a multitude of consumer device environments, including hybrid broadcast-IP set-top boxes sold at retail, legal mobile and streaming devices running illegal apps, illegal streaming Web sites and download sites operated by pirates, illicit streaming devices with fraudulent software and services, and more.

Media centers like Kodi and Plex have become a popular distribution channel in India, just as they have become everywhere else in the world.  Kodi has been on the radar screen of US pay TV providers for years.

(Note: This article quotes from the article linked above)

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