Video piracy has long been a threat to traditional pay TV revenues, but this threat is taking on a whole new dimension as the industry undergoes significant disruption.

Digital TV technology solutions provider NAGRA’s regional GM for Asia-Pacific Stéphane Le Dreau said the APAC pay TV market is in the midst of a challenging transitional period.

“Traditional pay-TV revenues in many advanced markets are under pressure, while emerging markets are growing subscribers, but delivering low ARPUs,” he told the Show Daily.

“The industry is being increasingly disrupted by content piracy, especially around live sports, impacted by low-cost OTT offerings, making it harder for pay TV companies to confidently invest in the future.”

Le Dreau said on-demand content will be a major growth driver for the pay TV market, with more and more providers expected to develop their own OTT services to compete against the likes of Netflix.

“In the race to satisfy consumers’ needs for content anytime on any device, a growing number of pay TV cableco and telco operators will invest in multifaceted IP-based delivery models, including OTT, IPTV or a mix of both,” he said.

But the proliferation of IPTV privacy and streaming devices capable of accessing unathorized video streams represents a more complex and costly issue for pay TV providers than they have ever faced from piracy, he warned.

“Content owners and distributors need to accept that there is no silver bullet for tackling streaming piracy – it entails relying on a multi-faceted approach, including new anti-piracy technology and services as well as industry-wide collaboration on a number of fronts, from legal action to lobbying for policy changes and consumer education.”

Pay TV operators can also fight back against piracy by implementing technologies including watermarking to trace piracy to the source, he said. But it is also important to address consumer needs and provide compelling content so consumers don’t feel the need to resort to piracy.

NAGRA is showcasing its next-generation of OTT, Android TV, direct-to-TV solutions and anti-piracy services at CommunicAsia this week.