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Vietnam cable TV forced to stop airing Champions League games over piracy

Tuesday, May 09, 2017, 17:02 GMT+7

Vietnam Cable Television, or VTVcab, will terminate live broadcasts of UEFA Champions League matches starting Wednesday, due to continued copyright infringement from local websites and TV stations.

VTVcab is currently the only service entitled to the live broadcasting of the competition within Vietnam during the 2016-18 period.

The news came in a VTVcab announcement on Tuesday, in which the service provider said South Korea-based KJ Investment Group Inc., which provides its license to the tournament’s live broadcasts, had disconnected signals over worries of piracy.

VTVcab will also stop live-broadcasting UEFA Europa League games for the same cause.

This is the second time VTVcab’s airing of UEFA Champions League games has been interrupted for this reason.

Last March, KJ also disconnected live signals to the competition’s matches at the peak of the 2015-16 season, saying that the Vietnamese channel had allowed their copyrighted footage to be “stolen and illegally reproduced across Vietnam.”

VTVcab only re-acquired the rights to broadcast live UEFA Champions League matches for the 2016-2018 period last September after concluding lengthy negotiations with KJ.

The deal included broadcast rights for two seasons, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.

The UEFA Champions League is an annual continental club football competition organized by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and contested by top-division European clubs.

“After many efforts to uphold copyright throughout the season, we have no choice but to once again stop the live broadcasting of UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League on our VTVcab and VTV services in Vietnam,” VTVcab said in its press release and statement addressing customers. “We owe our viewers, customers and soccer fans the most sincere apologies for this matter.”

According to VTVcab, it had failed to prevent local sites from uploading copyrighted footage of the matches and local TV channels from airing the games without permission.

“VTVcab has requested assistance from the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Ministry of Public Security, as well as done all in our capability to press charges against the copyright violators,” the cable TV said. “The infringement persisted in different forms nonetheless. The violators even resorted to employing sophisticated maneuvers to bypass VTVcab’s protection measures.”

“Therefore, the license provider has announced their disconnection of signals, and requested that VTVcab stop all broadcasts, advertising and distribution of the competitions,” VTVcab said in its announcement.

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