Dish formally announces lawsuit against pirate Arabic channel streamers

A screen shot of Spider-TV's homepage. Dish has accused the streaming service of stealing its Arabic channel signals and illegally streaming the networks in the U.S.

Dish has formally acknowledged filing two lawsuits earlier this month, targeting groups it says are unlawfully stealing Dish signals to Arabic channels and then streaming them on a subscription basis.  

As reported by FierceCable on Jan. 4, Dish filed separate suits in Texas and Maryland, targeting the operators of Tiger Star and Spider-TV. 

“We feel it is our responsibility to ensure the channels and shows we pay to carry exclusively are not pirated and sold illegally,” said Timothy Messner, executive VP and general counsel at Dish, in a statement. “Despite our best efforts to ask both Spider-TV and Tiger Star voluntarily to cease transmitting the channels without authorization, they have continued to distribute the content, leaving us no course but legal action.”

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In its Texas suit targeting Mo’ Ayad Fawzi Al Zayed and his Shenzhen Tiger Star operation, Dish noted, “Defendants are capturing broadcasts of television channels exclusively licensed to DISH and are unlawfully retransmitting these channels over the Internet to their customers throughout the United States, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. 

“Defendants profit from the scheme by selling set-top boxes and corresponding service plans to access the unlawful retransmission of television channels, and charge approximately $149 to $179 per unit including a one-year service plan. Defendants are not authorized by Dish to retransmit these channels, and Dish has not received any compensation from defendants.”

Dish said that starting at the beginning of 2017, it sent more than 100 notices to the operators of Tiger Star and Spider-TV, as well as their respective internet service providers, demanding that they cease and desist their allegedly unauthorized streaming. 

Dish said the affected channels include Al Arabiya, Al Hayah 1, Al Jazeera Arabic News, Al Nahar, ART Cinema, Dream 2, Future TV, Igraa, LDC, MBC1, Murr TV (aka MTV Lebanon), NBN, New TV (aka Al Jadeed), Nourstat and ONTV.