SAT-ITALY 01.11.1996


According to a recent survey by CIRM, 41% of Italians would be prepared to
pay an extra 30,000 lira of license fee to have a "federal" TV channel. The
new Italian telecommunications bill which is currently under discussion in
Parliament This channel would be created out of the existing RAI Tre channel
which already broadcasts some regional programming. 
The federal channel will not be allowed to carry commercials and the program
schedule would be made up of three segments. It will broadcast 8-10 hours of
national news and programming, 8 hours of inter-regional programs and will
also show regional programming currently shown on RAI Tre.
The estimated cost of this new channel will be 1,800 billion lira a year
which is more than 1,250 billion lira proposed by RAI but far less than the
3,000 billion lira for the German regional TV channels. It will be financed
40% from RAI's license fee and the rest will be covered by publicity and
regional contributions.

Italian pay-TV network Telepiu has signed two important deals which will
enable it to increase its offer of sports programming to subscribers.
Telepiu's sports channel, Tele+2 has bought the Italian TV rights to German
Bundesliga football matches from the society ISPR. Tele+2 will be able to
show two games every week from 1997 up till the year 2000.
Tele+2 director Andrea Bassini also signed an exclusive deal for
volleyball's World League. The deal, for the period 1997-2001, will enable
Telepiu to show all matches of the Italian team (12 in total) as well as the
final round games. 
In a separate press release, Tele+2 announced the Italian Serie A games it
will carry live (Sundays at 20:30h) in the next months. Here is the complete
5.I.1997 (15) LAZIO-MILAN
19.I.1997 (17) LAZIO-JUVENTUS
26.I.1997 (18) PIACENZA-ROMA
The Tele+2 channel is broadcast digitally as part of the Telepiu DSTV
package on EUTELSAT 13 degrees East.

Italy's advertising market will probably finish this year with increased
revenues but prospects for 1997 are uncertain. The figures for 1996 are as
follows: Italian media will have 10,640 billion lira in ad revenues (up 7%
from last year) which is divided as follows: 5,700 billion for TV (out of
which 5 billion earned by the TV duopoly RAI/Mediaset), 2,000 for the
printed press, 500 for radio, 400 for billboards and 40 for cinema advertising.
There are several reason for a lack of optimism for 1997: stagnant consumer
demand, uncertainties about the effects of a new Telecommunications bill (no
media company will be allowed to earn more than 20% of the total advertising
investments). The new bill in fact proposes to end the advertising revenue
duopoly which currently exists. The facts seem to confirm this proposal
because when the TMC TV channel shows hit movies at prime-time it takes 2-3%
of share from the RAI and Mediaset TV networks.
Every point of audience share corresponds to certain revenues. If TMC's
share is between 3-5% it will not be enough to absorb the billions of lira
in advertising earmarked by leading agencies Sipra and Publitalia. It seems
the Italian TV market is desperately in need of a third player which would
be a serious contender to RAI and Mediaset. According to ad agencies, a new
player would have to satisfy three key demands: national coverage, financial
stability and people. 

Italian public TV and radio RAI is currently living through a nightmare
period with new crisis situation appearing almost daily. Everything started
with the proposed Telecommunications bill (the transformation of RAI Tre
into a federal channel, limiting of advertising revenues) which has left a
question mark over the future position of the company on the volatile
Italian TV market. Several famous TV presenters including the legendary
Pippo Baudo are currently under investigation by the Italian courts
concerning sponsorship deals. 
There is also the threat that RAI may loose out on the technological field -
satellite and pay-TV especially. This part of the market is already
dominated by private companies including Telepiu and IRI. RAI has expressed
interest in offering several thematic satellite channels which would be
broadcast "in the clear", but is still looking for foreign partners.
Political bickering has also damaged RAI's reputation with many key
executive nominations being delayed due to political differences between the
political duopoly Ulivo-Polo. 
Another big problem is that RAI does not have enough new programming for its
three TV channels. During the previous administration under director Letizia
Moratti huge amounts of money were spent with little to show in regards to
programming. To add insult to injury, a very costly show program was
recently canceled after its first showing because it failed to attract more
than 15% of the audience share which is poor for RAI standards. Strangely,
directors of the three RAI channels have started bickering among themselves,
trying to bring over the most popular programs of the other RAI channels to
their own network.
The sport department is especially in a very delicate situation. TV rights
to several important sports events such as Giro d'Italia, football and
Formula 1 (half of the races will be covered by rival Mediaset) have been
lost. The department director is in conflict with employees over illegal
sponsorship deals and so on. The most evident that RAI is losing its pieces
is the fact that several famous presenters have left the network, with the
majority going to principal rivals Mediaset.
The crisis is even worse at Radio RAI with no new programming decisions
being made, while audience figures continue to go down, with private radio
stations completely dominating the radio market.
The immediate future for RAI looks indeed very bleek and it looks as the
ship is in serious need of a new captain.

3.XI - RETE 4, 20:40h - An officer and a gentleman (USA-81) starring:
Richard Gere, Debra Winger
3.XI - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Edge of deception (USA-94) starring: Jennifer
Rubin, Mariel Hemmingway
3.XI - CANALE 5, 20:50h - Chi trova un amico, trova un tesoro (ITA-81)
starring: Bud Spencer, Terence Hill
3.XI - RAI UNO, 22:30h - Babette's feast (DAN-87) starring: Stephan Audran
3.XI - RETE 4, 22:40h - My left foot (UK-89) starring: Daniel Day Lewis,
Brenda Fricker
4.XI - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - Unlawful entry (USA-92) starring: Ray Liotta, Kurt
Russell, Madeleine Stowe
4.XI - CANALE 5, 20:50h - Jurassic Park (USA-93) starring: Sam Neill, Laura
Dern, Jeff Goldblum
4.XI - RETE 4, 23:00h - Psycho (USA-60) starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh
5.XI - RETE 4, 20:40h - Rocky IV (USA-85) starring: Sylvester Stallone,
Brigitte Nielsen
5.XI - RAI DUE, 20:50h - One shot, one kill (USA-92) starring: Tom Berenger,
Billy Zane
6.XI - CANALE 5, 20:50h - Robin Hood, Prince of thieves (USA-91) starring:
Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Mary Elisabeth Mastrantonio
6.XI - RAI UNO, 20:50h - Underground father (USA-96) starring: Chris Noth
6.XI - ITALIA 1, 22:30h - Wild at heart (USA-90) starring: Nicholas Cage,
Laura Dern, Isabella Rosellini
6.XI - RETE 4, 22:30h - Women at the verge of a nervous breakdown (SPA-88)
starring: Carmen Maura, Antonio Banderas
7.XI - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - Out for justice (USA-91) starring: Steven Seagal,
William Forsythe
7.XI - RAI TRE, 20:30h - Susan Slade (USA-62) starring: Roy Donahue, Connie
7.XI - RETE 4, 20:40h - Not without my daughter (USA-90) starring: Sally
Field, Alfred Molina
7.XI - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Dangerous intentions (USA-95) starring: Corbin
Bernsen, Donna Mills
7.XI - RETE 4, 22:30h - L.A. Story (USA-91) starring: Steve Martin, Victoria
8.XI - RAI TRE, 20:30h - Harrison: Cry of the city (USA-95) starring: Edward
Woodward, Elizabeth Hurley
8.XI - RETE 4, 20:40h - Hurricane (USA-79) starring: Jason Robards, Max von
Sydow, Mia Farrow, Trevor Howard
8.XI - RETE 4, 22:40h - Pirates (USA-86) starring: Walter Matthau, Charlotte
9.XI - RETE 4, 20:40h - Shoot out (USA-71) starring: Gregory Peck, Dawn Lynn
9.XI - RAI DUE, 20:50h - The danger of love (USA-92) starring: Joe Penny
9.XI - ITALIA 1, 22:40h - Air America (USA-90) starring: Mel Gibson, Robert
Downey Jr.

3.XI - RAI TRE, 19:00h -  Basketball (men) - Italian league
6.XI - RAI DUE, 13:30h - Football: BOSNIA-ITALY (friendly)
7.XI - RAI TRE, 15:40h - Basketball (women): Italian league
8.XI - RAI TRE, 15:20h - Volleyball: Italian league - MTA PADOVA-ALPITOUR

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