A new hacking scandal for News Corp or ‘lies and libels’?

News Corp has caught a new wave of media attention focusing on its fierce competitive behaviour, which has caused massive damage for its TV competitors.

NDS, News Corp’s pay-TV smartcard security unit, a London-based company that specialises in satellite television technology, is alleged to have leaked codes and allowed customers cheaper and unauthorised access to a rival satellite TV company, the now defunct ITV Digital, the Christian Science Monitor reported Friday.

In July last year after the phone hacking scandal at News of the World broke out, Rupert Murdoch made his oft-quoted statement, saying: “This is the humblest day of my life”.
Since then, news media have been keen on digging into further misconduct, and have now also revealed that the subsidiary NDS had given a £2,000 “charitable donation” to the Surrey Police more than a decade ago, according to Press Gazette.

Rupert Murdoch has changed his strategy in how to respond. The NDS denied the allegation, which was first sparked in BBC’s Panorama documentary. Murdoch has also been tweeting in his own defense. His dismissal of the reports as “lies and libels” may lie in his fear that this time his core business could be put in danger, FishbowlNY noted.

This new allegation could cause far more damage than the scandal last year, as it strikes News Corp’s valuable television holdings – the financial heart of Murdoch’s empire.

There is a Chinese proverb that says “Everyone gives a shove to a falling wall” – a sentiment Murdoch likely couldn’t agree with more. In a recent tweet, he wrote that it “seems every competitor and enemy piling on with lies and libels. So bad, easy to hit back hard, which preparing.”

“Lies and libels” withstanding, what the discourse war in media outlet reflects is the real war in the paid-TV market. And there might be other reasons leading to the demise of ITV Digital.
As a blogger commented, “It was enthralling TV about the TV biz, and must have been an eye-opening for anyone not familiar with the decade-old telly crypto saga…Murdoch’s telly rivals would have gone down even if nobody had ever watched a single one of their programmes for free.”

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