Orbit Showtime Network says the pirated reception of its signals will be eradicated by December 19.
Pirated OSN signals to be blocked
Orbit Showtime Network (OSN) says the pirated reception of its signals will be eradicated by December 19, when an estimated 5 million people in the Middle East will be prevented from receiving its signals illegally.
At present the broadcaster's pay-TV channels can be picked up by cheap satellite decoders and codes obtained from the internet.
But OSN has been rolling out new set-top boxes with extra encryption, and plans to switch over to the more secure broadcast signals this month.
"On December 19, we will be switching our signals to a form that is not pirated, and indeed won't be pirated. And in so doing, the illegal reception of our signals … will cease," said David Butorac, the chief executive of OSN.
He said 5 million was "a conservative estimate" as to the number of people who pick up OSN's broadcasts illegally.
It is too early to say how many of these consumers will become paying customers of OSN, he added.
"The uplift that I've personally experienced in markets that I've worked in has gone from 20 per cent to 100 per cent. And we would expect it to be in that range," said Mr Butorac. "I know that there will be a significant uplift."