Operators of Set TV Launch New IPTV Services Despite DISH Lawsuit
Set TV was once a beloved IPTV service for cord-cutters, offering convenient access to hundreds of live TV channels, movies, and shows. At its peak, Set TV amassed over 300,000 dedicated users with its low-cost streaming packages before getting sued by major broadcaster DISH Network. Despite agreeing to cease operations, Set TV‘s operators have boldly launched rebranded IPTV services—a testament to their persistence and the ongoing demand for affordable live TV streaming options. This ongoing legal battle provides deeper insights into the motivations of pirate IPTV providers, the aggressive crackdown tactics of major media corporations, and the broader trends fueling piracy in the age of cord-cutting.
The Rise and Fall of Set TV
Launched in late 2016, Set TV grew quickly by offering channel packages priced at just $20-30 per month—a fraction of traditional cable bills. Analysts estimate upwards of 300,000 subscribers used Set TV at its peak based on server capacity and social media followers. Its growth reflected consumer frustration with expensive cable bundles and demand for cheaper live TV alternatives. However, Set TV relied on illegally capturing and retransmitting signals, violating broadcaster copyrights.
In April 2018, DISH Network filed suit against Set TV operators Jason LaBossiere, Sean Beaman, and Stefan Gollner seeking $90 million in damages. DISH accused Set TV of "capturing broadcast signals and retransmitting them without authorization to Set TV subscribers for a monthly fee." This allowed Set TV to undercut DISH‘s own Sling TV streaming service significantly on price. Following the lawsuit, Set TV agreed to cease operations and hand over equipment to DISH, appearing to settle the matter.
The Cat and Mouse Game
However, DISH later pushed to reinstate the lawsuit, claiming Set TV operators had already launched new pirate IPTV services ExpediteTV, Ping TV, UptickTV and Mundo TV. After receiving a tipoff email, DISH ran test purchases and confirmed the new offerings similarly captured and streamed TV channels illegally.
Some experts believe DISH uses undercover accounts across various pirate IPTV services to gather intelligence on operators and build lawsuits. For their part, IPTV operators employ increasingly sophisticated technical measures to evade detection and take down services quickly if discovered. This cat and mouse dynamic has continued with other media companies as well, with the MPAA alone filing over 1,000 IPTV lawsuits in the past 5 years.
DISH argued that the court injunction prohibited Set TV operators from launching similar pirate services. They demanded imposition of a $1000 daily sanction plus legal fees, which highlights the aggressive stances taken to deter IPTV piracy. However, the demand did not stop Set TV operators who continue launching new rebranded offerings.
Fueling Piracy: Cord-Cutting and Copyright Law
This persistence reveals unmet consumer demand for affordable live TV options. Surveys show over 85% of cord-cutters still want access to live sports, news and other channels without cable bills. With legal alternatives like Sling TV or YouTube TV costing $40-65 per month, IPTV fills the gap at lower prices despite the legal risks.
Media companies assert copyright ownership over their content and leverage laws to coerce IPTV companies. But suppressing supply doesn‘t curb demand. Alternate models like compulsory licensing could allow legal redistribution for a fee. But copyright law favors broad rights holder control instead.
Until quality, low-cost legal options arrive or laws change, the whack-a-mole dynamic between media giants and disruptive IPTV operators will likely continue. Cord-cutters may turn to tried-and-true pirates despite the risks. What lasting solutions do you think could shift the IPTV piracy ecosystem? Please share your thoughts below!