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Murdoch’s News Corp. Charged With TV Piracy in Australia

Murdoch’s News Corp. Charged With TV Piracy in Australia

Not only is Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation embroiled in allegations of hacking into voice mails and emails, charges that led to him closing down the 168-year-old British tabloid News of the World and that have at least indirectly contributed to his son James Murdoch no longer being considered as  the heir apparent to his father’s media empire. The Australian branch of News Corp. now also faces allegations of hacking and piracy in an attempt to sabotage its rivals in Australia’s pay television market.

On Wednesday, The Australian Financial Review and a documentary aired on BBC1 said that the NDS Group had hacked into satellite television companies and made pirate copies of their smart cards. News Corp. has minority ownership of NDS Group, a British-based technology television group, and also holds minority stakes in both cable companies BSkyB and Foxtel. NDS Group is accused of hiring hackers to acquire the codes of smart cards associated with subscription satellite services for rival companies including Austar and Optus. The codes were allegedly made available on the black market at a cost of $50 million a year to News Corp.’s rivals.

Not surprisingly, News Limited, News Corp.’s Australian unit, has denied any wrongdoing.

In the US, News Corp., which owns Fox News, is continuing efforts to expand its media holdings by creating a cable sports network to rival ESPN. While a decision has not yet been made, News Corp. executives have reportedly “held extensive discussions about creating a national cable sports channel,” says the New York Times. News Corp. might try to “re-brand” an existing channel, such as Fuel, whose focus is “thrill-seeking sports,” or the Speed Channel, which is based on car racing.

The New York Times points out that “if the plans come to fruition, it could set up a ferocious competition among several corporate parties,” including ESPN, Comcast’s NBC Sports Network, the CBS Sports Network and the Turner Network. Notably, the cable television rights to Major League Baseball and to the N.F.L. are up for renegotiation in the not-so-distant future. Currently, ESPN dominates in subscription fees for its sports programming, charging $5.06 a month per subscriber this year, while other channels charge less than a dollar.

If News Corp. does move ahead with its plans to create a sports channel, ESPN and the other companies had best be on their guard.

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22 comments

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2:24PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

It doesn't surprise me. I wondered how sometimes things got found out in the news. Like this last Sunday at the TV Week Logie Awards, one hour before it was annouced who won the Gold Logie, a newspaper was printing it up. What's that about?

5:58AM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

Most things coming out of Israel are pretty dodgy, some of it is downright evil and comes from the dark side. Shouldn't expect anything too much better from a country that is run by a bunch of neo Nazis.

4:04AM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

P.S.

News Limited actually sold the NDS company (which is registered and based in Israel, by the way - a high-concentration area for computer "hackers"..) last week, to the Cisco group (another conglomerate, which has several similar technology/internet/computing/networking companies under its umbrella..), for $5 billion...

};-(

3:54AM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

The Murdoch Empire is a truly multinational conglomerate :

News Corporation is listed on the New York S.E.

The News Limited subsidiary (Oz/NZ/Pacific..) is listed on the Sydney S.E.

News International is their U.K./Europe arm ~ it should be listed in London, by rights;

They also have an Asian subsidiary, based on China and Hong Kong...

While the Murdochs have family "compounds" in Melbourne and Sydney, and farms outside of Yass, in southern NSW ~ I believe Rupert's main home-base is his New York penthouse..

IF the US authorities aren't investigating News Corp. at this time, then one would have to ask why not ?

5:47PM PDT on Mar 31, 2012

GOOOOOOD!!!!

4:28PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

Walk the plank!

9:38AM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

Ruppert should have been charged years ago for misrepresenting Australia abroad ~ simply for being so downright fugly !!!

};-D

9:30PM PDT on Mar 29, 2012

Is anyone looking for similar shenanigans in the US from the Murdoch empire?

8:50PM PDT on Mar 29, 2012

rupert needs a few weeks in the public stockade, than should improve his disposition. if not, then another few weeks. and so on.

6:13PM PDT on Mar 29, 2012

And yet our own FCC bends over backwards to let him own more media in the U.S. Look at the nice lies he perpetrates.

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