Piracy Problems Hit ITV Digital

19 September 2001

The ITV Network’s digital fledgling, ITV Digital, is undergoing “significant” piracy problems. Admits chief executive Stuart Prebble: “We have a piracy issue. We know exactly why we have a piracy problem and we have an investigation going on.”

Although no-one is revealing the size of the scam – “it is not a huge problems, but it is there” – over forty raids on suspected miscreants have been carried out by police and trading standards investigators.

The problems centre around subscribers who sign-up for ITV Digital’s minimum package at £6.99 per month then use pirated smartcards to access premium price services – for example European Champions League soccer.

A number of websites offering pirated smartcards have already been forcibly closed but are said to spring-up again mushroom-style. One UK site yesterday offered data on card codes, also advising on how to reprogram pirate cards.

According to one onlooker, ITV Digital’s conditional access technology is of pensionable status and its venerability and vulnerability go hand in hand.

ITV Digital currently claims over 1.1 million subscribers.

News source: The Times (London)