Dish Network, a leading U.S. TV provider with more than 13 million subscribers, is continuing its crackdown on unauthorized streaming services. In a pair of lawsuits filed in Maryland and Texas, Dish targets two illicit IPTV providers, claiming that each illegally captures and retransmits dozens of its channels to U.S. citizens.
In broad terms, there are two types of unauthorized online streaming of live TV. The first is via open-access websites where users can view for free. The second features premium services to which viewers are required to subscribe.
Usually available for a few dollars, euros, or pounds per month, the latter are gaining traction all around the world. Service levels are relatively high and the majority of illicit packages offer a dazzling array of programming, often putting official providers in the shade.
For this reason, commercial IPTV providers are considered a huge threat to broadcasters’ business models, since they offer a broadly comparable and accessible service at a much cheaper price. This is forcing companies such as U.S. giant Dish Networks to court, seeking relief.