Since the beginning of 2016, the legal Dutch television platform providers have been working closely together to detect and combat illegal TV offers more effectively. They are satisfied with the results achieved, but they see a shift from illegal activities to illegal IPTV streams and apps. However, the removal of apps with illegal TV offerings prove to be difficult.
The operators exchange public information about illegal suppliers, point out to them the illegal nature of their commercial practices and report it to the police.
“Since the start of our working group, a large decrease in the number of illegal suppliers has been achieved, partly as a result of our activities. That is to some satisfaction, but we remain vigilant. Illegal providers mislead consumers by giving them the impression that their offerings give access to legal content. Pirates have increasingly professional websites and marketing, which is misleading consumers more and more sophisticatedly. We continue to fight against that,” said Mathieu Andriessen, director of NLConnect.
In May of this year, the European Court ruled that the sale of media players with pre-installed add-ons is no longer allowed. Many illegal suppliers have stopped following this ruling. There have also been raids at providers of control word sharing. Andriessen: “he remaining providers are now looking for new illegal roads, such as online IPTV streams and apps in the app stores and beyond. The pirates’ field of activity is moving. However, it turns out to be difficult to have apps with illegal TV offerings removed from Google’s Android app store, for example.”
The legal offer of IPTV and other forms of digital television is well developed in the Neterlands. Legal providers invest in user-friendly platforms and offer access to a very wide range of general and premium TV channels, often including Video on Demand and easy viewing of missed broadcasts. They are also working on providing information about and finding the legal offer, such as via film. nl. The fight against illegal TV watching is a joint initiative of NLConnect (the association of telecom and cable companies with Delta, among others), an KPN, M7, VodafoneZiggo, and Fox Networks Group.