During the second quarter of this year the German pay-TV operator Premiere will swap all outstanding smart cards to better combat signal piracy, according to the company. Premiere has been hit hard in the past few months with several hacks of its encryption system, Nagravision from Kudelski. It blames certain “imported satellite receivers”, which “criminal hackers” have been able to modify in order to receive protected signals illegally. The new generation smart cards should prevent any new hacks from happening. The pay-TV company said there are no plans to switch encryption systems, removing any doubts set by NDS President Dr Abe Peled during a recent investor call.
At year end, Premiere said it has 4,279,000 customers 3,651,000 of which were direct subscribers and a further 628,000 via Unitymedia and Arena. Premiere will announce its full 2007 results on Thursday February 14.