Ex-Foxtel CTO rejects AFR allegations

A further executive involved in the Australian pay-TV industry has denied allegations made by The Australian Financial Review about NDS’s conduct, reports The Australian.

Former Foxtel chief technology officer Peter Smart – responsible for managing the pay-TV company’s contract with News Corporation subsidiary NDS – worked at the broadcaster from 1995 until last year, during a period when NDS is said to have promoted a wave of high-piracy harming pay-TV providers, including Optus, Austar and Foxtel – in which News, publisher of The Weekend Australian, owns a 25 per cent stake.

The AFR also alleged NDS worked against software-maker rival Irdeto.

“My main direct involvement was around using NDS and Irdeto to secure the Foxtel platform and they were working together co-ordinated by me to make sure the system was secure,” said Smart, who claimed he saw no evidence of improper conduct by NDS and was unconvinced by the claim that NDS introduced piracy into the market, because it would have undermined its own business.

“This is what doesn’t make sense to me. If you’re sharing a video system, the security is vulnerable as the weakest link, so if you’re actively trying to destroy Irdeto, by default you’re trying to destroy NDS. It wasn’t commercially sound to be doing these things. (The claims) didn’t make any sense to me,” he said.

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