Murdoch stocks up on Premiere shares

News Corp has increased its stake in German pay-TV operator Premiere to 25.01% from 22.7%, meaning the international media company controlled by Rupert Murdoch (pictured, left) now holds a blocking minority. Though small, the extra stake is very important as Murdoch tightens his grip on the German pay-TV platform. News Corp, which became Premiere’s largest single shareholder at the beginning of January, wants to further increase its influence with the broadcaster by having two representatives appointed to the supervisory board at the next annual general meeting to be held on June 12.

Furthermore, Premiere recently decided to introduce the encryption system VideoGuard, developed by News Corp subsidiary NDS, in order to combat current piracy problems. The broadcaster hopes this will improve subscriber figures which have dropped in previous months due to security gaps in the currently utilised system Nagravision.