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
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.