SAT-ITALY 25.10.1996


Last year, the major Italian TV networks (RAI, Mediaset and Cecchi Gori)
aired 5,671 movies, compared to 6,081 the year before and 7,650 movies in
1993. The fall in the number of movies has also meant that less American
productions were shown, whose total share has fallen from 53,8% in 1994 to
49,8% last season. However, on all TV networks the number of Italian titles
has risen (up 4%), but in most cases Italian movies have been shown at late
hours of the night or at other times when there is a smaller TV audience.
This autumn, the majority of quality movie titles will be shown by the two
most-watched channels - RAI Uno and Canale 5. These two channels have shown
more than 500 movies in the first semester of this year, with around 70
having their TV premiere.

From next year, the Formula 1 championship will drastically change for
Italian TV viewers. They will have an option of viewing the races free on
RAI or by taking a subscription for Telepiu. RAI last year signed a 214
billion lira (around 214 million DM) deal for 5 year broadcast TV rights,
only to find out later that it had bought the so-called "poor" rights. In
fact for the 16 Grand prix races RAI will transmit, no sponsor ad breaks
will be allowed, there will be no images from the box or live images from
the cameras mounted on the cars and no interviews will be allowed.
The same product has been sold to other national TV stations (part of the
EBU/UER consortium). RAI has since thought of re-selling some of the races
to Mediaset (which has up till now shown Formula 1 on its channel Italia 1).
The full TV rights have been bought by several European pay-TV companies
including Tele+2 in Italy and DST in Germany. Subscribers to these channels
will be offered a much richer product. They will be able to choose what to
see from four different channels. One will show the race, a second replays
and images from the box, a third channel showing camera images from the cars
and finally a fourth channel will non-stop show the latest race results.
DST has been broadcasting Formula 1 races digitally in this way from July
and it is expected that the other pay-TV channels will use the same model
from next year. 

It seems that Italian private TV network TMC has found the key to higher
audience figures. The station which is owned by Italian media magnate
Vittorio Cecchi Gori has succeeded in equaling and even surpassing the
audience figures of Berlusconi's channel Rete 4 every time it broadcast
recent movies at prime-time.
Michele Franeschelli, director of programs for Cecchi Gori Group has said
that "we are already making problems for RAI and Mediaset and our research
shows that 70% of our audience comes from Mediaset viewers and 30% from RAI
Cecchi Gori has an archive of over 300 movies to which he has recently added
recent acquisitions at Mipcom in Cannes. 

At a recent press conference held in Milan, the ex-director of RAI Tre
Angelo Guglielmi announced the creation of a syndication network for
Northern Italy. Guglielmi who is currently a member of the administrative
council of local TV station Telelombardia (owned by Venezuelan producer
Sandro Parenzo) said his channel would form a syndication network called
Telenordest with stations Diffusione Europea (Venice) and Rete 7 (Bologna)
which are also owned by Parenzo. They will soon be joined by Antenna 3
Veneto (owned by another businessman, Giorgio Panto) as well as by local
channels in the provinces of Piemonte and Liguria. 
The shareholder structure of the new syndication will be made up by:
Elletronica Industriale (25%), Mario Carraro (10%), Rete 7 (5%), Camerino
(5%) and the remaining 55% will be held by Parenzo.
Telenordest's ambitious objective is to become the fourth player on the
Italian TV scene, after RAI, Mediaset and Cecchi Gori group. The syndication
plans to capture 7-8% of the audience which has not opted for the other
three networks. 
The big problem however is the programming. Guglielmi adds that out of the
more than 700 local TV stations, the majority shows similar programs to
national TV channels as well as broadcasting pirate movies and TV series.
Telenordest will show mainly local news and information programs and the
news in Bolzano and Gorizia will be bilingual.  

The current music offer on Italian TV channels leaves a lot to be desired.
All six national TV channels (which are also transmitted via satellite) have
very few regular music programs. The two major TV networks, RAI and Mediaset
mostly offer general entertainment programs and all music programs that are
broadcast feature only chart-orientated music. After the decrease of
programming at Italy's only dedicated music TV channel Videomusic, the only
alternative for music fans is MTV Europe whose programming is re-transmitted
by the Tele+3 channel, unscrambled. Rock fans older than 30 years do not
have an appropriate media which reflects their music tastes.
The radio offer is not much better either. The overwhelming majority of
private radio stations programs only chart music since they do not want to
risk by endorsing little known artists. The situation at state radio RAI is
even worse. 
However, the future seems brighter, thanks to the arrival of new
technologies such as satellite and cable as well as Internet which is set to
revolutionize the distribution of music.

From next January, viewers in Milan, Varese and Pavia (all located in the
province of Lombardia) will be able to receive a new Italian satellite
channel. Senior TV will broadcast daily news and other programmes for
pensioners. According to reports in the Italian press, it will be "the first
cellular network which will transmit its programmes using satellite
technology installed on terrestrial transmitters" (whatever that means!).
The transmission costs will be low and the frequencies used by terrestrial
channels will not be affected.
The owner of this new channel will be a charity organization, Centro Studi
cure domiciliari. Initially it will broadcast one hour a day of programming
- health news and advice, information for handicapped persons. The director
of Senior TV, Riccardo Bonacina expects to have around 100,000 at the start
and already 8,000 apartments have installed the necessary reception equipment.

27.X - RETE 4, 20:40h - No mercy (USA-86) starring: Richard Gere, Kim Basinger
27.X - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Deadly chase (USA-92) starring: Christopher Clarke,
Nicole Quiltera
27.X - RETE 4, 22:40h - Priscilla, Queen of the desert (AUS-94) starring:
Terence Stamp
28.X - RAI UNO, 20:50h - Homeward bound (USA-92) starring: Robert Hays, Kim
28.X - CANALE 5, 20:50h - In the line of fire (USA-93) starring: Clint
Eastwood, John Malkovich
28.X - RETE 4, 23:00h - Round midnight (USA-85) starring: Gregory Hines,
Helen Mirren
29.X - RETE 4, 20:40h - License to kill (USA-89) starring: Timothy Dalton,
Robert Duval
29.X - RAI DUE, 20:50h - V.I. Warshawski (USA-91) starring: Kathleen Turner
29.X - RETE 4, 23:50h - Mr.Stone (USA-93) starring: Danny Aiello, Dyan Cannon
29.X - RAI TRE, 01:20h - Alice doesn't live here anymore (USA-74) starring:
Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson (in English with Italian subtitles)
30.X - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - Heart & Souls (USA-93) starring: Elizabeth Shue,
Robert Downey Jr.
30.X - RAI UNO, 20:50h - Hostile advances (USA-96) starring: Rena Sofer
31.X - RAI TRE, 20:30h - Someone to die for (USA-95) starring: Corbin Bernsen
31.X - ITALIA 1, 20:40h - Live Wire (USA-92) starring: Pierce Brosnan, Lisa
31.X - RETE 4, 20:40h - Sleep, Baby, Sleep (USA-95) starring: Tracey Gold,
Kyle Chandler
31.X - RETE 4, 22:30h - Death Wish 4 (USA-87) starring: Charles Bronson
1.XI - RAI TRE, 20:30h - Paradise (USA-91) starring: Don Johnson, Melanie
1.XI - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - Death Wish V (USA-94) starring: Charles Bronson,
Lesley Anne Down
1.XI - RETE 4, 20:40h - Doctor Zhivago - Part I (USA-65) starring: Omar
Shariff, Julie Christie
1.XI - RETE 4, 22:35h - The great train robbery (USA-78) starring: Sean
Connery, Donald Sutherland
2.XI - RETE 4, 20:40h - Doctor Zhivago - Part II  
2.XI - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Seventh floor (USA-94) starring: Brooke Shields,
Patrick Thompson

29.X - RAI DUE, 18:55h - Football: UEFA Cup: CASINO GRAZ-INTER
29.X - RAI UNO, 20:25h - Football: UEFA Cup: ROMA-KARLSRUHE
29.X - RAI DUE, 22:25h - Football: UEFA Cup: TENERIFE-LAZIO
30.X - CANALE 5, 20:20h - Football: Champions League: MILAN-GOTEBORG
30.X - ITALIA 1, 22:30h - Football: Champions League: JUVENTUS-RAPID VIENNA
31.X - RAI DUE, 20:40h - Football: Cup winners cup: SPARTA PRAGA-FIORENTINA
2.XI - RAI TRE, 17:30h - Volleyball: Italian league  COLMARK-PORTO

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