Pirates of the World Cup


The recently completed FIFA World Cup had many memorable moments. Some teams advanced further than expected, while some just fell to pieces. Win or lose, most people agree it was an achievement for a national team to make the trip to Germany to begin with – especially if you consider two years elapse before the qualifying rounds are completed.Zidane gets carded  

Some might remember how entire countries became “interupted” during teams’ matches. The people at eBay will never forget how online traffic and transactions slowed down when a match began, then resumed afterwards. Others will remember hearing rumors of less-developed countries’ plumbing systems losing all water pressure once a match’s first half ended.

Apparently, some bars in Hong Kong forgot it was against the law to broadcast matches without paying for them — and the folks at CASBAA are giving notice and are out to teach these pirates a lesson:  


“Although the industry reached out to the Hong Kong food and beverage industry in the run up to the World Cup, stating that pay-TV signal theft is not to be tolerated by government or industry, many bars blatantly screened unlicensed pay-TV broadcasts. We have had no choice but to take the matter to the courts,” said Simon Twiston Davies, Chief Executive Officer of CASBAA.

As an indication of the pay-TV industry’s commitment to the Hong Kong sporting community, Mr Twiston Davies noted that the plaintiffs and CASBAA would donate any proceeds received from the defendants after costs to local sports charities. CASBAA believes it is important to return the funds to where they belong – the support of sports development.

“The issue of intellectual property rights protection requires concerted efforts on all fronts between the government, industry, bar and club owners and the general public, especially as we run up to other global events such as the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and recurring high value events such as the English Premier League,” continued Mr. Twiston Davies. “The sports leagues who stage major events need a fair return on their investment.”


Only licensed pay-TV operators such as Hong Kong Cable, now Television and TVB Pay Vision are authorized to provide such programming. These pirate bars were receiving signals from satellites providing service to other countries.

Spammers and other nasties were at it during the World Cup, too. Hopefully, they’ll soon be forgotten or busted (preferred).