An appeal by deputies of the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada) to the country’s president to introduce a moratorium on the encryption of satellite TV channels has been criticised by Media Group Ukraine (MGU).
In a statement, the latter, which is one of the country’s four leading TV groups, says that the encryption, which took place on January 28, is a “logical, civilized step in the development of the media market. There is a worldwide redistribution of revenue around the world: advertising revenue is being replaced by user subscription revenue”.
It adds: “By encoding a satellite television signal, or rather by changing the encoding to a more secure variant, we are essentially complying with a state-licensed license, as well as the rights holders who sell us the rights to use certain content. It has become a statutory model of the interaction between the state and broadcasters on the media market, as well as the standard practice of the world content distribution market aimed at combating piracy.
“Satellite broadcasting is a right, not a duty of commercial broadcasters. National Ukrainian TV channels, having received licenses for digital terrestrial broadcasting, have already pledged to distribute the content free of charge. And that obligation is fulfilled – viewers can watch 32 TV channels, both entertaining and informational, with T2 transmitters.
“In calling for a “moratorium”, the people’s deputies suggest making unjustified interference with the economic activities of commercial entities. The same could be done by offering mobile operators to provide their services for free, with only a fraction of users”.
MGU continues: “We would like to emphasise once again that the viewers have not lost the opportunity to watch Ukrainian TV channels. They have lost the ability to watch certain channels for free using certain technology. The viewer has the opportunity to continue using the service for free thanks to T2 technology – digital terrestrial TV. Or access the content of any TV channels by becoming a subscriber to one of the software service providers based on convenient technology (cable, OTT, DTH)”.
Broadband TV News notes that 1+1 Media, another of Ukraine’s four leading TV groups, has also criticised the call for a moratorium on the encryption.