Denver -- The Anti-Theft Cable Task Force will join with
the Video Software Dealers Association to study the effective ways to eliminate signal
The collaboration will also look to educate both industries
and the public about signal theft and the illegal use of black boxes, said representatives
from both groups.
Industry sources estimate that theft of cable services,
including basic, premium and PPV programming, costs cable operators more than $5 billion
annually, while illegal copying of movies from both PPV and videocassettes costs
video-store retailers and studio manufactures millions of dollars a year.
The alliance will implement several initiatives to achieve
its goals, including lobbying the Motion Picture Association of America's help in
stopping signal theft; developing a letter-writing campaign to publications carrying
black-box ads -- as well as listing such publications in the VSDA newsletter; providing
antitheft information and videos to retailers in an effort to educate the public on the
penalties of stealing cable.
Hugh Panero, chairman of the Task Force, said in a
statement that the organization is confident that pooling resources between the two
factions "will help send a strong message to the manufactureres of black boxes and
other theft devices that the entertainment industry will no longer tolerate cable and
signal theft in any form."
Jeffrey Eves, VSDA president, added in a statement that the
competitive issues between the two industries "should not deter us from joining
forces to eliminate the theft which affects us all."