SAT-ITALY 11.10.1996


Italy is to get its first dedicated news and information channel thanks to
an agreement that has been reached between Bloomberg Information Television
and the news agency Ansa. The new channel will be transmitted via the
EUTELSAT HOT BIRD 2 satellite, as part of the Telepiu DSTV digital package.
The 24-hour service will start broadcasting January 1997 with 24 bulletins
divided into two bulletins every half hour (between 07:00-09:00 and
18:30-22:30 hrs.) and 12 bulletins with entertainment, sports and lifestyle
News and other information will be transmitted in the original format
pioneered by Bloomberg Television which combines video images with textual
information and data. The TV screen will be divided into 4 smaller screens -
one will show a newsreader reading the news, another will show other news in
real-time, while the other two will show weather reports and financial news.
Italian news agency Ansa will supply the news content for the service.
The head of the new venture will be Giampiero Gramaglia, editor-in-chief of
Ansa. Bloomberg Italy will have studios in Rome (at Ansa HQ) where a dozen
journalists will work and another dozen will be based in London.
The Italian service is the third to launch in Europe, after the UK and
France. Michael Bloomberg, head of the Bloomberg network has already
announced that their next target is Spain where talks with news agency EFE
are well under way.

Silvio Berlusconi's TV holding company Mediaset which holds the Italian TV
rights to Champions League matches has announced it will start show Milan
games on pay-TV channel Tele+2 in which it has a 10% stake. Mediaset had up
till now simultaneously transmitted Champions league matches of Juventus and
Milan at the same time on different channels (Canale 5 and Italia 1).
However, according to Mediaset executive Adriano Galliani, "Mediaset has to
follow marketing logic" since the simultaneous transmission of both games is
not commercially viable. He added that this is just an example of what will
happen next year when Italy will again have 2 teams playing in the Champions
League. Mediaset has made this decision after it received approval from UEFA.
Football fans (especially Milan supporters) are not satisfied with this
decision and they will have to satisfy themselves with highlights of Milan
matches which will be shown on the Italia 1 channel after the game.

Two members of RAI's administrative council, Liliana Cavani and Michele
Scudiero have expressed serious doubts about certain aspects of the new
Telecommunications bill which is currently being debated in the Senate. In
an interview to weekly "Famiglia Cristiana" they have expressed concern that
the liberalization of the Italian telecommunications market will penalize
state run RAI. They specifically cite that telecom operator Stet (through
its subsidiary Stream) who is currently cabling up the country is spending
billions of lira to buy program rights and will be the only company to offer
cable services. Cavani has gone as far to say that "influential powers want
to destroy RAI".
Stream has recently in fact started an aggressive marketing campaign (buying
whole page ads in the press) in order to present its future plans. In short
they include using the cable networks that are currently being built to
offer not only services to the citizens but also TV programs. 
The undersecretary at the Post and Telecommunications ministry Vincenzo Vita
has defended the new bill saying that although the new law liberalizes the
TV market, it does so according to EU directives. He added it also includes
antitrust measures, so that for example companies involved in mobile
telephony (ie. Stet) cannon enter the TV market before 1998.

A small town in Tuscany has recently banned the installation of satellite
dishes on rooftops for purely estethic reasons. The mayor of the town of San
Gimignano, Franco Nencioni has in fact found a justification for this act in
a law from 1939 which states that an authorization from a special commission
is required for installing any object on a rooftop. Mayor Nencioni has
categorically said that all satellite dishes will have to be removed. He has
recently taken photos from a nearby hill of all houses with dishes and has
given powers to the local police to punish citizens who do not pull down
their dishes.
The mayors decision has divided opinions in the city, while those opposing
this strange act have demanded that the mayor first remove two sculptures
located on the roof of the City hall.

Italian pay-TV network Telepiu has signed an agreement with Dreamworks, the
production company headed by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David
Geffen for exclusive pay-TV rights for the first 40 movies produced by SKG
Studios. One of the first Dreamworks productions that will premiere on
Telepiu is "The Peacemaker", a thriller that takes place in Russia which
stars Nicole Kidman and George Clooney.

In honor of the General assembly of FAO that is being held in Rome from
November 13-17, a special World Food Day concert will be held at the
Coliseum on October 27. Artists (musicians, ballet dancers, painters and
others) from 17 countries will take part in the event which will be seen all
over the world. Already confirmed to take part are Italian pop star Claudio
Baglioni, as well as musicians Youssou N'Dour (Senegal), Khaled (Algeria)
and many other ethnic musicians. Many others will contribute with messages
via Internet (including Peter Gabriel) which will be shown on a giant
screen. Italian channel RAI Due will show the event live in two parts - from
16:00-19:00 hrs. and 22:30-23:20 hrs.

The traditional autumn ratings war between RAI and Fininvest (now Mediaset)
for prime-time movies, this year seems to be a little bit less fierce. There
are several reasons for that - football matches bring in more advertising
revenue, Italians seem to be watching more movies on video and in the
cinemas and pay-TV is also making an impact. 
Mediaset's Canale 5 has the more attractive movie titles - "Il postino",
"Jurassic park", "Last action hero", "In the line of fire", "Look who's
talking too". Canale 5 also expects a lot of the sequel "Thorn birds 2"
which is to be broadcast on October 22 and 23. Public channel RAI Uno plans
to respond with "The fugitive", "I love trouble", "Born yesterday", "Four
weddings and a funeral" and "Sister Act". RAI in fact has a much smaller
budget for movie acquisitions than in the past and cannot match Mediaset for
big movie titles. It has tried to respond in a different way - by showing
movies by acclaimed directors as well as movies in the original language (on
RAI Tre, but at a very late time at night).
Another player on the Italian TV market is planning to challenge RAI and
Mediaset. The challenger is Vittorio Cecchi Gori, a major film distributor
and producer as well as owner of the TMC and TMC2/Videomusic channels. The
list of movies is yet to be announced, except for "The heat" and "Die Hard
3" which are to be shown next year.

13.X - RETE 4, 22.45h - Uova d'oro (ITA-SPA-93) starring: Javier Bardem
14.X - ITALIA 1, 20.30h - The Addams family (USA-91) starring: Raul Julia,
Anjelica Huston
14.X - CANALE 5, 20.40h - Il postino (ITA-94) starring: Massimo Troisi,
Maria Grazia Cucinotta
14.X - RETE 4, 20.40h - Brubaker (USA-79) starring: Robert Redford
14.X - RAI UNO, 20.50h - I love trouble (USA-94) starring: Julia Roberts,
Nick Nolte
14.X - RETE 4, 23.25h - Diary of a hitman (USA-92) starring: Sharon Stone
15.X - RETE 4, 20.40h - House of the spirits (USA-GER-93) starring: Jeremy
Irons, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close
15.X - RAI DUE, 20.55h - The innocent (UK-93) starring: Campbell Scott,
Isabella Rosselini, Anthony Hopkins
15.X - ITALIA 1, 22.30h - Boxing Helena (USA-92) starring: Julian Sands,
Sherilynn Fenn
15.X - RAI TRE, 01.20h - Raging bull (USA-80) starring: Robert de Niro
16.X - ITALIA 1, 20.30h - The princess bride (USA-87) starring: Cary Elwes,
Robin Wright
17.X - ITALIA 1, 20.30h - Dracula (USA-92) starring: Gary Oldman,Winona Ryder
17.X - RETE 4, 22.30h - Dangerous woman (USA-93) starring: Debra Winger
18.X - RETE 4, 23.00h - Hamlet (USA-90) starring: Mel Gibson, Glenn Close,
Alan Bates

15.X - RAI DUE, 18.55h - Football: UEFA Cup - KARLSRUHE-ROMA (live)
15.X - RAI UNO, 20.40h - Football: UEFA Cup- INTER-CASINO GRAZ (live)
15.X - RAI DUE, 23.05h - Football: UEFA Cup - LAZIO-TENERIFE 
16.X - CANALE 5, 20.20h - Football: Champions League - RAPID VIENNA-JUVENTUS
16.X - ITALIA 1, 22.30h - Football: Champions League - GOTEBORG-MILAN 
17.X - RAI DUE, 20.45h - Footballl: Cup winners cup - FIORENTINA-SPARTA PRAG
19.X - RAI TRE, 17.30h - Volleyball: Italian league - MTA-GABECA

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