Questions for News Corp over rival’s collapse
Part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation empire employed computer hacking to undermine the business of its chief TV rival in Britain, according to evidence due to be broadcast by BBC1’s Panorama programme on Monday .
The allegations stem from apparently incriminating emails the programme-makers have obtained, and on-screen descriptions for the first time from two of the people said to be involved, a German hacker and the operator of a pirate website secretly controlled by a Murdoch company.
The witnesses allege a software company NDS, owned by News Corp, cracked the smart card codes of rival company ONdigital. ONdigital, owned by the ITV companies Granada and Carlton, eventually went under amid a welter of counterfeiting by pirates, leaving the immensely lucrative pay-TV field clear for Sky.