Subscription Television Pirate Convicted

21 September, 2012 by IF

Press Release from The Australian Subscriptin Television and Radio Association (ASTRA)

The Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA) today welcomed the conviction of Sydney resident Narender Narwal for the theft and illegal on-sale of subscription television (STV). Narwal appeared in the Downing Centre Local Court where he was convicted for making and selling unauthorised decoders. He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, fully suspended, on entering a good behaviour bond of five years and fined $15,000.


Narwal’s arrest and conviction resulted from an Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation supported by STV industry investigators from FOXTEL and other companies, with assistance from anti-piracy experts from Irdeto, a software security and media technology company, who provided on-site support and technical evidence for the AFP.

Narwal was involved in the sale of unauthorized set top boxes programmed to provide a network of people with access to stolen STV channels through an illegal system that used the internet to hack into encoded broadcasts.

“This sentencing clearly reinforces the fact that piracy is theft and it will be investigated by the Australian Federal Police (AFP). I commend the police and support teams involved in dealing with this case effectively and efficiently. As an industry, STV will continue to defend its intellectual property against piracy so that it can keep investing and innovating for its legitimate subscribers and contribute to the growth of the Australian economy,” said Petra Buchanan, CEO of ASTRA.

Buchanan added: “Many consumers are unaware it is a criminal offence to have unauthorised equipment installed in their homes and should be suspicious of purchasing any equipment that provides access to STV broadcasts for which they are not directly paying an authorised provider. In most instances innocent customers are ultimately left out of pocket when they realise these devices are quickly rendered inoperable.”

ASTRA runs an anti-piracy hotline on 1800 428 888 to which suspected piracy can be reported. 


ASTRA is the peak industry body for subscription TV (STV) in Australia. The STV industry is the undisputed leader of digital broadcasting with 200 channels (including HD and Plus2) broadcast on the FOXTEL platform and channel packages offered through Telstra T-Box and Xbox360. STV platforms and channels directly employ over 7,400 people and in 2010 invested $578.4 million into Australian content. The direct economic contribution of STV to the Australian economy is estimated to be over $5 billion since its inception. Received by 34% of Australians through their homes and over a million more through hotels, clubs and other entertainment and business venues, STV provides 24 hour news, sport and entertainment.


Krupa Uthappa
t: 02 8399 0699