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Stop stealing our signals says HBO

IMG_0817 miguelBy Colin Wilson

It was a very stern Miguel Oliva, Vice President of Public Relations and Corporate Affairs for HBO Latin America, who met with me over coffee this morning (Tue 11).

He was holding one on one meetings with all of Cayman’s media to notify us that WestStar TV was in effect stealing HBO’s signals. He did not attempt to hide his frustration with the Cayman Islands biggest and oldest provider of television channels. He said HBO had tried to come to an amicable agreement with WestStar to legitimately take their signals but it had proved to be fruitless.

He would not be pressed as to why the negotiations had broken down between the two parties but confirmed HBO had agreements in place with the two new cable providers in Cayman, Logic and LIME.

I asked him if HBO were doing anything about the satellite DISH networks that were illegally also showing HBO programming here in Cayman? He shrugged and said he was aware of it but said this was difficult to control.

He shrugged when I quipped that WestStar was an easier fish to fry.

At the time of preparing this story WestStar had no comment to make.

It is interesting that in the official release (see hereafter) HBO say they want to ensure “a level playing field among television providers”. WestStar have been requesting the Cayman Islands Government to clamp down on all the illegal satellite dishes local companies here sell and charge their customers for programming that WestStar have to pay a license fee to government per subscriber. See my Editorial today.

HBO Latin America notification to Weststar TV subscribers

WestStar TV is not authorized or licensed to distribute or rebroadcast HBO and Cinemax programming in the Cayman Islands.

HBO Latin America, the exclusive distributor and licensee of HBO and Cinemax   programming in the Caribbean, would like to confirm to WestStar TV Limited    subscriber in the Cayman Islands that WestStar is neither licensed nor authorized   to distribute or rebroadcast HBO and Cinemax programming in the Cayman Islands.

This includes the following   channels on WestStar’s signal:  HBO ch. 17, Cinemax ch. 35, HBO Plus ch. 151, HBO Signature ch. 152, MoreMax ch. 154, ActionMax ch. 155, HBO Family ch.157, and HBO Latino ch. 178.

WestStar has engaged in a practice of unauthorized interception of US satellite TV transmissions, rebroadcasting and distributing these HBO and Cinemax programs   to subscribers in the Cayman Islands for commercial purposes, without consent of the owners of the copyright   and without payment of any form of licensing fees to HBO Latin America.

HBO Latin America has asked WestStar (including its officers and directors) repeatedly to cease its unauthorized interception and rebroadcast of HBO and Cinemax programming. WestStar has not denied these activities but has continued to engage in these practices, compelling HBO Latin America to make its position   public.   HBO Latin America has pressed the local regulatory authority to take appropriate action against WestStar with a view of ensuring a level playing field among television providers in the Cayman Islands and avoiding an unfair competitive advantage to WestStar in the interest of all subscribers in the Cayman Islands. HBO Latin America is confident that the local regulatory authority   will take appropriate action to address this entirely unsatisfactory situation.

HBO Latin America is proud of its licensed and authorized Cayman Islands partners, LIME and Logic, who legitimately offer world class HBO and Cinemax programming   to their subscribers. HBO Latin America is the premium television network leader that, in addition to being recognized for the quality and diversity of its original programming, films and documentaries, also provides services with the highest technology in SO and HD formats in more than 24 countries of the Caribbean   and Latin America through its channels HBO, HB02, HBO Signature, HBO Plus, HBO Family, HBO HD, HBO Caribbean, HBO On Demand, HBO GO, Cinemax, MAX, MaxPrime and MAX HD.




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