Panorama has claimed that NDS, a subsidiary of News Corporation, hired a man who ran a piracy website and had him post codes which allowed viewers to watch ITV Digital channels for free.
The widespread availability of the codes led to the collapse of ITV Digital, previously ON Digital, killing Sky TV’s main rival in 2002 just four years after the venture was launched.
If proven the allegations will cause even greater damage to the reputation Rupert Murdoch’s empire, and could leave the company facing questions over whether it funded piracy.
They allege that NDS hired a man named Lee Gibling who ran a website called the House of Ill Compute (THOIC).
NDS is said to have sourced the set-top box codes for ITV Digital given them to Mr Gibling and had him distribute them on his website.
With the codes available it meant that huge numbers of ITV Digital set-top box owners simply used the codes for free television rather than pay a monthly subscription to the channel.
The show alleged that Mr Gibling was being instructed by Ray Adams, a former Metropolitan Police officer who ran the security department for NDS.