Tuesday, 27 March 2012

@BBCPanorama: Murdoch's @NDS_Group alledgedly hacked @ITV

From the outset please note that I have not as of yet watched the BBC One Panorama programme: Murdoch's TV Pirates, Broadcast on Monday the 26 March 2012

According to the BBC News website the premise is that a Murdoch firm used the Thoic hacker site to target pay-TV rival http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17494723

ITV Digital's former chief technical officer, Simon Dore, told the programme that piracy was "the killer blow for the business, there is no question".
"The business had its issues aside from the piracy... but those issues I believe would have been solvable by careful and good management. The real killer, the hole beneath the water line, was the piracy. We couldn't recover from that."

My comment to that is: If you make a turd, then you get a turd!

ITV/On-Digital had really bad programming and no service for customers. In all likelihood it actually added viewers to News Corporation's programme platforms:

At the time I was living in Central London, and in my opinion On-Digital would not honour their commitment to installing a receiver on our flat, because I was on the 4th floor. I.e. any building above basement level would not be honoured, or so it felt at the time. So from the outset, I could not even watch the service.

However, ultimately it came down to bad programming, including spending over £300 Million on lower-division football. At the time it was amazing that the Digital service provider would be so stupid to think that a sport, that is only watched by 40% of the population, which again only prefers to watch the "high-value" matches on the SKY platform, would actually return any kind of value to the ITV shareholders. If that money instead had been used on entertainment and drama, the story could have been a very different one...

It goes without saying, that if NDS has acted in a criminal way to ultimately cheat English stake- & shareholders of the hit companies of the demise of ITV Digital, then those shareholders will have a Multi Million Pound claim against News Corporation.

However, one has to be careful not to jump on the current Murdoch bashing bandwagon. As much as one might not like their riches, one also has to accept that as a large Corporation it has employed a number of individuals who were either misguided in loyalty or lacked judgement - either way, it is OK to say "No" if you think that you are being asked to commit a criminal offence...

There is more excellent information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITV_Digital Where if you read the small print, you'll see that this is not the first time that NDS is accused of wrong-doing other broadcasters in Europe.


  1. I don't believe you can defend NDS (News International or News Corp) because they employ people. I don't think that would stand up in court.

    The timing by the BBC was interesting, it seems its just one story after another with regards to news international / news corp. You wonder once the dust settles again, which new story will emerge? Hopefully The Guardian, The Independent, BBC, Channel 4 and whoever else will keep it up, until News International cease trading in this country. That goes for all of News Corp enterprises.

    BSKYB is here to stay, unfortunately. They make money and have a dominant market position. They continue to overbid on sports and overseas Dramas, dumbing down TV for the majority. England playing away? Can't watch it. But its our national sport!! They have got away with too much over the years with the government seemingly always giving them what they want. But I think we know why that is.

    Hopefully, all will be revealed.

    Rant over. (I'm sure you will correct me, if I have made any errors in said rant)

    1. No, I did not want to be seen as defending anyone, and in particularly not News Corp and its minnows :-) However, one has to try and be balanced, and there is a difference between company culture and employees; as that the culture of said organisation is very hard and demanding, which often leads employees to make a misjudgement of what is wrong and what is right in order to please the under-boss.

      Sadly, I think the bigger picture is that the whole country is potentially morally bankrupt and that what we're seing in the news is just the top of the iceberg.

      First it was the bankers, then the politicians and now the press that is under scrutiny (Ehm, Actually no, first it was a man who lost Hamilton the F1 crown and McClaren £50 Million, who ended up in a basement with a group of dressed up hookers...) However, this country is very busy telling the rest of the world how to behave, whilst not maintaining the same level of dignity and honesty - it all has to start at home.

      In my opinion BBC has got it's own political agenda that is related to massive cuts, moving out of London and having paid said company millions of pounds to be broadcast on their platform (that is using the NDS technology). According to Wikipedia the story itself is not new, only the angle and the target. I don't think that Panorama was ever "asked" to do the programme, but again, there might just have been the odd person within the department that saw this story as something that could "help" Auntie Beeb.

      I must admit that after a recent experience with the Guardian and their legal representation, my opinion about them is worse than that of News Corp - simply because they don't practice what they preach - where as at least Murdoch has never hidden what his true methods are, and the punter on the street is more than happy to pay for that.

      Question is: Should this country legislate news and broadcast industries more? Or will that automatically happen through consumer choice?

      That was a bit long, but please feel free to correct me too :-)