By means of a presidential decree, Uruguay has banned the sale of AZBox STBs and other similar brands because said devices can be modified for the reception of illegal Pay-TV services. According to Prensario Internacional, more than 40,000 of these devices have already been modified in the country. This decision applies not only to the sale of decoders in Uruguayan territory but also their distribution with the purpose of selling them abroad.

Although Uruguay is the first Latin American country to adopt such a measure, other countries have already taken steps to leverage piracy. In Argentina, for example, the Chamber of Audiovisual Channel Producers and Programmers presented last Wednesday two TV spots for a new campaign aimed at promoting the national audiovisual industry growth and fighting against piracy and content theft. In fact, the president of the aforementioned chamber, Sergio Veiga, mentioned the utilization of AZBox STBs and confirmed that it is one of the latest piracy modalities in Latin America.

Veiga also shared figures regarding the piracy issue in the region. About USD 1.2 billion are lost in terms of unsold subscriptions of authorized cable and DTH companies; which accounts for USD 500 million in terms of uncollected taxes and more than USD 800 million lost by programmers.

In turn, Chile has also announced an STB “switch-off” of pirate DTHs in the country. Constanza Tellez, DirecTV Corporate Affairs Manager, stated that “more of these devices are going into Chile, as compared with Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay, because in those countries laws are being applied”. And she added: “Here, we have fallen a bit behind”.