Cable television and internet company, Multichoice Ghana, has won a court case against a criminal cable Tv pirate based in Techiman, in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Solomon Agyei has been convicted to a fine of GHc6,000 in correspondence with 500 penalty units after being found guilty of cable TV piracy.
In default of the payment of the fine, the accused faces a jail term of two years, which has inflicted him with a criminal record.
The convict had been arrested on July 8, 2015 illegally owning and operating cable Tv in Techiman.
Subsequent to his arrest, he was charged with cable piracy and arraigned before court by the Brong Ahafo Regional police.
A little over a year after his arraignment, the suspect was convicted to the fine of $1,400 which is the cedi equivalent of GHc6,000.
In the event of his inability to pay the fine he goes to jail for two years.
The conviction comes amidst Multichoice’s battles to rid its operations of parasitic pirates who illegally source its contents by criminal means.
The Gazette has heard from sources that illegal tapping of Multichoice contents, especially in respect of its flagship brand, Digital Satellite Television (DSTv), is perpetrated by many including some Members of Parliament.
The situation is compounded by the fact that Multichoice Ghana works under very heavy taxation, having to pay 25% of its subscription revenue as tax.
Multichoice Ghana’s sister outlet, Multichoice Nigeria, only pays 5% of its subscription revenue as tax in Nigeria, making Nigeria more competitive and thus putting the Ghana outlet at a disadvantage, as many people subscribe with Multichoice Nigeria at a cheaper price, while resident in Ghana.
Several appeals to the Ghana government to reduce the tariffs have fallen on deaf ears. What’s more, pirates, including politicians keep stealing contents from Multichoice Ghana.
The situation has left the company in an annoying constraint to spend money on legal battles.
DStv, Multichoice‘s digital satellite TV service in Sub-Saharan Africa, was launched in 1995, providing various bouquets, including general entertainment, movies, lifestyle & culture, sport, documentaries, news & commerce, children, music, religion and consumer channels to Multichoice subscribers.
DStv has around 8 million subscribers, with the majority being in South Africa and Nigeria. These two markets are considered to be the most important markets for DStv, although markets such as Kenya, Ghana, Angola, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Mauritius and Tanzania, though not having as many subscribers, are also a focus point for DStv.