The lines surrounding the transmission of English Premier League football, one of the most profitable segments for Ugandan pay-TV broadcasters, are becoming increasingly blurred. More and more customers are buying low-cost decoders to watch matches on foreign signals.
Street-selling Bein Sports decoder dealers have imposed restrictions on the rights to broadcast football games, and regulators say such transactions are illegal.
Expensive pricing for multi-choice packages and
Without the Uganda Communications Commission's decisive action, Bein Decoder could win more customers over his two-plus years of continuous operation.
You can use the Ultimate package for $27.3/month, the Premium package for $27.3/month, the Kickoff package for $10.5, and the Together package for $7/month.
Qatar Signal's leg decoder for broadcasting soccer matches could slightly reduce pay-TV rates for MultiChoice Uganda, the only broadcaster holding the rights to broadcast live matches.
However, the proliferation of Bein Sports decoders has put Uganda's pay-TV industry in the spotlight as it raises questions about the effectiveness of regulation in protecting the market from anti-competitive practices.
It could also weaken the ethos of companies like Multichoice that invest their money in both assets and employees, allowing non-tax-paying traders to enter the market.
Broadcast rights for Premier League games are never in short supply. Sky, the company that arranged the broadcast of the game and his resale to broadcasters such as MultiChoice, paid him a staggering £5.1 billion for the rights.
MultiChoice doesn't take Bein's decoder problem lightly, as they pay a lot to share the broadcast rights. Multichoice Uganda spokesperson Tina Wamala said the company is trying to stop the sale of illegal decoders.
“We have a Copyright Infringement and Copyright Department, which has been in place for three years. Their sole purpose is to ensure that those responsible are held accountable. We know the service very well and our piracy team works hard to ensure their service does not exploit the population," she said.
“Our piracy team works very hard to manage Bain and its services together with our parent company and other stakeholders who abuse our services in terms of content and technology. increase."
The Uganda Communications Commission recognizes the dilemma Bein poses, but there is little it can do to stop the sale of decoders. UCC acting broadcast director Fred Otunnu says the problem of Bein Sports broadcasting football matches is much more complicated than many think, warning people to buy Bein decoders He says he can only do it.
"The digital footprint is like a shadow. You don't draw a line and say the signal won't cross that line. That's what people [who sell leg decoders] take advantage of," he said. Mr Otunnu he told The Observer.
He was referring to Bane's signal, which overlaps with the universe, allowing the people of Kisarsi to utilize the spectrum and enjoy the game.
"If they (Bain's customers) suffer any consequences in the future, there will be no remedial action and the Commission may not be able to help," he said. For some reason, Bein Sports played a Good Cop/Bad Cop game. The company also opposes selling its decoders in the Ugandan market, he complained to the UCC. Meanwhile, UCC believes that Bein's headquarters in Qatar can perfectly solve this problem.
“Bein knows how to disable reception [of their signals] here [in Uganda], but I don't want to disclose it because it could jeopardize their efforts,” he said. said.
MultiChoice also agrees that it will not be easy to compete with leg decoder sales in Uganda.
"You need a process. It's not a process as simple as counting 1, 2, 3. You have to do research first to find out who's putting these decoders on the market and who's using them." It is a process that needs a lot of investigations before anything can be done in terms of courts of law,” she explained.
Should this matter go to court, it could find that it has some bit of similarities with a previous case in the United Kingdom involving a local bar owner in Portsmouth.
In 2012, Karen Murphy, an owner of a pub in Portsmouth, won a court battle against the Premier League after she opted to relay games using a decoder from the Greek broadcaster, Nova, which screens the same games at £800 per year, instead of using a Sky decoder, the main authorised equipment, to show live games at £700 per month.
The European Court of Justice ruled in her favour ,saying the basis of “fair trade” has to be respected, and that Murphy, like any other customer, must be allowed to choose between the different available products on the market.
It also said the Premier League can't claim copyright over the Premier League matches because they are not considered to be the author's own “intellectual creation.”
City lawyer Edgar Tabaro, who specialises in copyright law, says the regulator, UCC, should “stay clear” of these issues, and that it is only the Commercial court that can make a pronouncement on the issue. But he said Ugandan law is not holistic when it comes to trade practices, overseas purchases, or fair dealing.
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