AFR links News Corp to pay TV piracy in Australia

A dirty tricks unit within News Corp promoted pay TV piracy in Australia, the Australian Financial Review has claimed in an investigation published today across a virtually unprecedented seven pages of the newspaper.

The story is significant because it is the first time that serious allegations of misbehaviour in the Australian market have been linked to News Corp, which is the parent company of News Limited.

The allegations relate to News Corp subsidiary NDS, which is not based in Australia.

The AFR, published by News Limited rival Fairfax Media, has gone hard to promote the scoop which it says is the result of a four year investigation.

Unusually for the AFR, the story – along with a cache of 14,000 leaked emails obtained from an anonymous source – is not behind its paywall. Since late last night, the AFR has been pushing the story hard to its Facebook followers, with five postings promoting the story so far.

The newspaper is also attempting to crowd source the reading of the emails. Among those promoting the crowd sourcing via Twitter is British MP Tom Watson, who has led the charge against News Limited’s phone hacking scandal in the UK.

The story is bylined to the Gold Walkley Award winning journalist Neil Chenoweth, whose previous books have included Virtual Murdoch and Packer’s Lunch.

At the time of posting the story had been posted on all of the main Fairfax news websites including the SMH and The Age. No News Limited titles had yet carried anything on the issue. News Limited did not have a comment.


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