SAT-ITALY 08.11.1996


Italian state radio and TV RAI is currently working on a project of a new
educational service. The service which is tentatively called RAI Educational
plans to offer new types of programs, with high ratings not being the
primary goal, giving instead precedence to quality and culture. RAI
Educational will produce programs for the existing three RAI TV channels and
a separate thematic satellite channel aimed at schools and universities is
also planned.
The programming of the new service will be presented in the next few weeks
but some details have already been announced.  It will start on February 3rd
with three daily programming segments - 00:30h on RAI Uno as well as at
10:30h and 13:00h on RAI Tre. The new satellite channel will start next
April and it will be carried on one of the transponders that RAI has booked
on the EUTELSAT HOT BIRD 2 satellite.

According to a recent survey by Censis, Italians are second only to the
British in TV viewing. An average Italian spends 214 minutes a day in front
of the TV set, which is up from five years ago when the figure was 189
minutes. The British in contrast every day watch TV for 216 minutes while
French viewers spend 181 minutes in front of the TV set. The record is held
by Americans who watch an impressive 360 minutes of TV programs every day. 
Interestingly, 40% of the time the TV set is ignored, functioning only for
audio purposes as an ambient sound.  Another significative result of the
survey was that 77,8% of Italians think that RAI should devote time and
resources into quality programming, even to the point of risking audience

It seems almost certain that the Italian football federation (Federcalcio)
will renew for one year it's current contract with state television RAI for
transmission of the games of the national team for next year. The value of
the contract is estimated at around 40 billion lira, which is 5 billion more
compared to 1996. RAI is very interested in reaching a prompt agreement so
that it can start negotiations for foreign TV rights.
The director general of RAI, Giuseppe Iseppi has said that the state run
television network will close this year with a profit of 90 billion lira.
The total debt amounts to less than the resources with the resources that
RAI has. The biggest problem for RAI is the amount of programming it has at
its disposition (especially movies and TV series). Enzo Siciliano, RAI
president has called for more Italian movies to be shown on RAI channels
during a meeting with leading film authors including Tornatore, Scola and

Italian state TV RAI and electronics giant Philips in cooperation with other
European partners are working together on a new project which will enable
the transmission of analogue TV signals using mobile telephone technology.
The system is called Microwave Video Distribution System (MVDS) and is part
of a project developed by European Union called Cellular Radio Access for
Broadband Services (CRABS).
For transmission of TV signals, MVDS uses radio waves in the 40 GHz band,
similarly to mobile phones. Each transmitter will transmit signals to a
specified geographical area which will be determined by the cellular
technology. Each cell contains a central antenna which sends data to the
geographical area covered by the signal. The transmitter is usually located
in the central part of the viewing area, at the highest possible spot (on
roofs or special towers) because the transmitting and receiving antennas
have to be in perfect line-of-sight. Reception antennas are in the form of a
cone, 5-10% of the size of normal satellite dishes, while, interestingly
enough, normal satellite receivers can be used for the reception of these
analogue TV signals.
The advantages of the MVDS technology is primarily economical since it
enables the use of already existing TV sets as well as satellite receivers
(analogue and digital). This is especially true if compared to existing
cable TV systems. A MVDS system which can cover an area of 5,000 inhabitants
costs around 200 million Ecu compared to 3 million Ecu needed for an similar
cable TV system. It is also much cheaper when compared to fiber optic cable
- the cost of connecting a subscriber is around 70,000 lira (around 70 DM)
compared to a million lira (around 1,000 DM) for fiber optic cable.
MVDS has also other advantages. The transmission system used enables it to
offer completely bi-directional TV channels with low cost at high speeds.
The cellular transmission system on short-wave
means that transmission/reception data is broadcast at speeds of up to 2
million bits a second on a single channel, which is ten times faster than
the speed of data transmission of many Italian Internet providers. The
Microwave Video Distribution System beats satellite for data transmission
and significantly satellite offers little in terms of interactivity. 
A typical MVDS distribution system can transmit over 30 TV channels in
analogue mode and even much more if digital technology is used. This means
that new services such as interactive TV, video-on-demand, Tele-shopping and
Internet can be transmitted via this new medium.
MVDS is still in the experimental phase, but up till now has shown it has a
big potential. 

Italian state telecommunications operator Telecom Italia has signed an
important strategic agreement with computer software giant Microsoft.
Telecom Italia which owns two Italian Internet providers  (Telecom On Line
and Video On Line), will be able to offer its subscribers an Italian version
of the Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 software. Microsoft's browser will also
be included in all new versions of the Windows 95 program. This agreement
will also simplify the subscription to Telecom Italia's ISDN services for
users of Windows 95 and Windows NT.

10.XI - RETE 4, 20:40h - Mr. Jones (USA-93) starring: Richard Gere, Lena Olin
10.XI - RAI DUE. 20:50h - Soft deceit (USA-95) starring: Kate Vernon,
Patrick Bergin
10.XI - ITALIA 1, 22:30h - The rookie (USA-90) starring: Clint Eastwood,
Charlie Sheen, Raoul Julia
10.XI - RAI UNO, 22:35h - Utz (UK-91) starring: Armin Muller Stahl, Brenda
11.XI - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - Bloodsport (USA-89) starring:Jean Claude van Damme
11.XI - RAI UNO, 20:50h - The fugitive (USA-93) starring: Harrison Ford,
Tommy Lee Jones
11.XI - CANALE 5, 20:50h - Look who's talking now (USA-93) starring: John
Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Olympia Dukakis
11.XI - RETE 4, 23:00h - Psycho 2 (USA-82) starring: Anthony Perkins, Vera
Miles, Meg Tilly
12.XI - ITALIA 1, 22:30h - Darkman (USA-90) starring: Liam Neeson, Frances
Mc Dormand
12.XI - RAI TRE, 01:20h - New York, New York (USA-77) starring: Liza
Minelli, Robert de Niro (in English with Italian subtitles)
13.XI - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - A league of their own (USA-92) starring: Tom
Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Bill Pullman
13.XI - RETE 4, 20:40h - House of cards (USA-91) starring: Kathleen Turner,
Tommy Lee Jones
13.XI - RETE 4, 22:45h - Body of evidence (USA-92) starring: Madonna,
William Dafoe, Joe Mantegna
13.XI - ITALIA 1, 23:00h - The lawnmower man (USA-92) starring: Pierce
Brosnan, Jeff Fahey
14.XI - RAI TRE, 20:30h - Shamrock conspiracy (USA-95) starring: Edward
Woodward, Elizabeth Hurley
14.XI - ITALIA 1, 20:40h - The last of the mohicans (USA-92) starring:
Daniel Day Lewis, Madeleine Stowe
14.XI - RETE 4, 20:40h - The ten commandments - Part I (USA-56) starring:
Charlton Heston, Anne Baxter, Yul Brynner
14.XI - RETE 4, 22:45h - Class act (USA-90) starring: Gene Hackman, Mary
Elizabeth Mastrantonio
15.XI - RAI TRE, 20:30h - Mc Bain (USA-91) starring: Christopher Walken,
Maria Conchita Alonso
15.XI - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - Cape fear (USA-91) starring: Robert de Niro, Nick
Nolte, Jessica Lange, Juliette Lewis
15.XI - RETE 4, 20:40h - The ten commandments - Part II 
15.XI - RETE 4, 22:45h - The house on Caroll street (USA-88) starring: Jeff
Daniels, Kelly Mc Gillis
16.XI - RETE 4, 20:40h - Hang'em high (USA-68) starring: Clint Eastwood,
Bruce Dern
16.XI - RAI DUE, 20:50h - 83 hours till dawn (USA-90) starring: Robert
Urick, Peter Strauss
16.XI - RETE 4, 22:40h - Ransom (UK-74) starring: Sean Connery, Ian Mc Shane

10.XI - RAI DUE, 19:00h - Basketball: Italian league MASH VERONA-KINDER BOLOGNA
12.XI - RAI UNO, 20:50h - Football: Italian cup MILAN-VICENZA (or GENOA)
14.XI - RAI DUE, 20:40h - Football: Italian cup NAPOLI-LAZIO
16.XI - RAI TRE, 16:00h - Volleyball: ITALY-HOLLAND (friendly)

13.XI-14.XI - RAI UNO, 20:50h - San Remo music festival - Young talents
13.XI - CANALE 5, 20:50h - Guiness world records

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