SAT-ITALY 06.12.1996


At a press conference held in Milan on November 29th, Telepiu executive
Robert Hersov announced the names of the new channels which are to join
their digital satellite package DSTV. On the first day of 1997, several new
channels will join the package. They include BET on Jazz which will show
concerts, documentaries and other music programs, Bloomberg Television, a
business information service, Hallmark Channel with soaps and TV movies 24
hours a day and a specialized weather channel in collaboration with The
Weather Network. The last three channels will be broadcast in the Italian
From March 6th 1997, Telepiu will offer, besides Tele+1 and Tele+2, a second
movie channel as well as a second sports channel. Also in April, Telepiu
will start a channel dedicated to independent movies as well as five
channels entirely dedicated to live transmissions of Formula 1 races.
Finally, in June, NBC Europe and CNB Europe will join the DSTV package.
Robert Hersov confirmed that currently there are 32,000 subscribers to the
digital package and said that he expects that they will have 2 million
subscribers by the end of the millennium. An attractive offer for new
subscribers to the pay-per-view service Telecalcio was also announced. For
300,000 lira (around 300 DM), viewers can buy all return matches of their
favourite team in Serie A and get as a Christmas present all the games that
are left to be played during the first part of the football season (at this
moment seven). Viewers will be also given the opportunity to subscribe Serie
B games from February 2nd. 
Subscription charges for the digital package DSTV which currently includes
foreign channels such as CNN, Cartoon Network and MTV start from 57 DM a
month for the basic package.

According to an article in Italian daily "La Repubblica" published on
December 3rd, German media magnate Leo Kirch is planning to sell his 45%
stake in Italian pay-TV network Telepiu to Canal Plus which already owns 45%
inherited from Nethold after last September's merger between the two
companies. The deal could take place at the beginning of next year and in
exchange Kirch would receive a 32,5% stake in German pay-TV channel Premiere
which is currently held by Canal Plus. Since Kirch already has a 25% stake
in Premiere this means he would be able to control Germany's only pay-TV
Financial analysts estimate Telepiu's value at around 2,000 billion lira -
this amount is reached by multiplying the number of subscribers (currently
800,000) by 1,500 dollars and this is a common method of measure for all
European pay-TV channels. Kirch's current stake in Telepiu is worth around
900 billion while the 37,5 stake in Premiere (total number of subscribers
amounts to 1,2 million) comes to around 1,000 billion lira. In order for the
deal to go through, on top of all this, Kirch would have to pay Canal Plus
an additional 100 billion or the difference could be resolved by giving away
the TV rights for European football.
Interestingly, there is a possibility that other Italian investors may take
a stake in Telepiu in which Silvio Berlusconi's TV holding company Mediaset
already has a 10% stake. One of them may be Stream, a subsidiary of state
telecommunications operator Stet which is in charge of  development of cable
television distribution services.

The leading Italian movie producer and media magnate Vittorio Cecchi Gori is
to start showing movies in the wide-screen format 16:9 on his TV channels
from next year. Cecchi Gori who owns two terrestrial channels in Italy, TMC
and TMC2/Videomusic has succeeded in getting substantial financing from the
European Union (around 4 billion lira) for this project. He plans to
broadcast around 500 hours of wide-screen programming during 1997. 
The first experiments with 16:9 broadcasts in Italy dates back to 1990
during the World Cup and they were carried out by state television RAI in
cooperation with electronics giant Thomson.

One of Walt Disney's most popular cartoon features, "Bambi" is to have its
world TV premiere on Italian TV channel RAI UNO on December 9th at 20:50
hours. "Bambi" was realized in 1942 by a team of around 200 artists and
designers. RAI UNO will in fact dedicate the whole evening to Bambi with a
special program presented by music legend Adriano Celentano. 

The director of RAI's new specialized educational and cultural channel,
Federico Sciano recently announced his company's plans for this new service.
RAI Educational is set to start broadcasting via the EUTELSAT HOT BIRD 2
satellite from April and it will in fact substitute the experimental service
RAI Pico. The programming will be divided into several daily segments.
During the morning hours, there will be educational programming for schools,
in the afternoons the programming will have more of a "cultural" feel
similar to the Franco-German channel Arte and finally at night, viewers will
be able to see university lessons (similar to Open University in the UK). 
RAI Educational plans to exchange programming and to engage itself in
coproductions with TV channels from all over the world. They also have plans
to expand their activities into the multimedia field - especially home
video, CD-Rom and Internet.

8.XII - CANALE 5, 20:30h - Desideria e l'anello del drago (ITA) - Part II,
starring: Franco Nero, Anna Falchi
8.XII - RETE 4, 20:40h - Breathless (USA-83) starring: Richard Gere, Valerie
8.XII - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Grow old with me (USA-95) starring: Carl Weathers,
George C. Scott
8.XII - RAI UNO, 22:35h - Trois couleurs: Rouge (FRA-94) starring: Irene
Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant
9.XII - RETE 4, 20:40h - 1492 - Conquest of paradise (UK/SPA/FRA-92)
starring: Gerard Depardieu, Sigourney Weaver
9.XII - RAI UNO, 20:50h - Bambi (USA-42) 
9.XII - CANALE 5, 20:50h - Boomerang (USA-92) starring: Eddie Murphy, Robin
Givens, Hale Berry, Grace Jones
10.XII - RETE 4, 20:40h - 9 1/2  weeks (USA-86) starring: Mickey Rourke, Kim
10.XII - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Above suspicion (USA-94) starring: Christopher
Reeve, Joe Mantegna
11.XII - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - The undercover kid (USA-95) starring: Bradley
Pierce, Melora Hardin
11.XII - RAI UNO, 20:50h - Saigon baby (USA-95) starring: Kerry Fox, Douglas
11.XII - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Infiltrato (ITA-95) starring: Valerio Mastandrea,
Massimo Wertmuller
11.XII - CANALE 5, 20:50h - Midwest obsession (USA-95) starring: Courtney
Thorne-Smith, Kyle Secor
11.XII - ITALIA 1, 22:30h - Death hunt (CAN-80) starring: Charles Bronson,
Lee Marvin
11.XII - RETE 4, 23:00h - Shangai surprise (USA-86) starring: Sean Penn, Madonna
12.XII - RETE 4, 20:40h - Shattered image (USA-93) starring: Bo Derek, John
Savage, Jack Scalia
12.XII - RAI UNO, 20:50h - Un angelo a New York (ITA/FRA/GER-95) starring:
Giancarlo Giannini, Tina Majorino
12.XII - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Taking the heat (USA-93) starring: Tony Goldwin,
Lynn Whitfield
13.XII - RAI TRE, 20:30h - Billy Bathgate (USA-91) starring: Dustin Hoffman,
Nicole Kidman, Bruce Willis
13.XII - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - Commando (USA-85) starring: Arnold
Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong
13.XII - RETE 4, 20:40h - Samson and Dalilah (USA-49) starring: Victore
Mature, Hedy Lamarr, George Sanders
14.XII - RETE 4, 20:40h - The last wagon (USA-56) starring: Richard Widmark
14.XII - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Shadow of obsession (USA-91) starring: Jack
Scalia, Veronica Hamel
14.XII - ITALIA 1, 22:30h - Star Trek III - The search for Spock (USA-84)
starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy
14.XII - CANALE 5, 23:15h - Bertoldo Bertoldino e cacasenno (ITA-84)
starring: Alberto Sordi, Ugo Tognazzi

8.XII - RAI TRE, 09:55h - Nordic skiing: World cup from Davos
8.XII - RAI DUE, 19:00h - Basketball: Italian league  BENETTON
13.XII - RAI TRE, 15:40h - Waterpolo: Italian league  POSILLIPO-FLORENTIA
13.XII - RAI TRE, 16:10h - Swimming: European championships  
14.XII - RAI TRE, 08:50h - Nordic skiing: World cup from Brusson
14.XII - RAI TRE, 10:20h - Alpine skiing: World cup, downhill (m) from Val
14.XII - RAI TRE, 16:40h - Swimming: European championships
14.XII - RAI TRE, 17:30h - Volleyball: Italian league  ROMA VOLLEY-JEANS

9.XII - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - "Le stelle della musica" - Part II 
Music spectacle from Asiago (Vicenza). Appearing tonight will be many
Italian and international pop and rock stars including: Gianna Nannini,
Zucchero, Gianni Morandi, Phil Collins. Ligabue, Simply Red and Neneh Cherry
14.XII - RAI DUE, 22:30h - The Beatles - The great adventure - Part II 
Documentary series produced by ABC TV 
15.XII - RAI DUE, 22:30h - The Beatles - The great adventure - Part III 

[Other mailing lists]