Premiere stock rises on anti-piracy upgrade

Shareholders shaken by lower subscriber count

COLOGNE, Germany -- Shares in German pay TV group Premiere shot up Monday after the company announced it had solved its piracy problems by switching to a new, fully secure encryption service.

Premiere stock jumped some 15% during trading and was still up 8% near the closing bell.

The company did not comment, however, on unconfirmed reports that Premiere program director Hans Seger will resign this week. Premiere has already replaced its CEO, CFO and marketing head and Seger is thought by many to be next on the list.

Shareholders have been shaken by an internal audit that showed the company had nearly 1 million fewer subscribers than originally reported.

News Corp., which holds a 25% stake in Premiere, has installed its own management team, headed by CEO Mark Williams, to try and turn the group around.