krack bug
A hooded man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017 (Kacper Pempel/Illustration/Reuters)

Walt Disney, HBO, the National Basketball Association and the English Premier League are calling Singapore a haven for pirating copyrighted programming.

According to a Bloomberg report, viewers in the city-state buy legitimate set-top boxes that allow unauthorized streaming of thousands of movies, TV shows and live sporting events.

The members of Coalition Against Piracy, including divisions of Sony Corp and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, want the government to block the pirating software inside the devices, the report said.

Almost two in five Singaporeans admit to engaging in online piracy by illegally streaming or downloading movies, TV shows or live sports broadcasts, said research firm Sycamore, which conducted the study in September.

The study observed that while 68 percent of those polled recognised that online piracy is "stealing or theft", 63 percent of respondents said that their decision to pirate was "motivated by the desire for free content".

The use of illegal streaming devices – TV boxes in particular – is changing the face of piracy in Singapore, with 14 percent of those polled saying that they currently use such devices, the study noted.

The Singapore government said it didn't consider the devices themselves to be illegal. The boxes also can view legally available websites such as YouTube.

Singapore is a focal point in the entertainment industry's campaign to curb piracy in the region.

Online TV and movie piracy will cost the industry an estimated US$31.8 billion in global revenue this year, reaching US$51.6 billion by 2022, Bloomberg reported citing London-based Digital TV Research.