SAT-ITALY 13.12.1996


In a recent interview to Rome daily "Il Messaggero", Giuliano Adreani,
director of publicity for Mediaset suggested that his company could
cooperate with RAI in the cable and satellite field. Adreani proposes an
alliance between his TV holding company and state-run TV RAI by joining
forces and investments in the field of new technologies to prevent foreign
companies dominating the Italian satellite and cable market. RAI and
Mediaset would continue to compete against each other on the terrestrial TV
Concerning the new Telecommunications bill which proposes that Mediaset will
have to give up one of their networks, Adreani says that this would mean
they would have to close their smallest channel, Rete 4 which would mean
losses of around 550 billion lira in publicity. He adds that it's not
commercial sense to block the development of a company which will this year
have an increase in advertising revenues of around 6-7% and estimates are
that they will increase another 4-5% in 1997.

The Italian pay-TV network Telepiu has announced that from next year they
will introduce wide-screen transmissions (in the format 16:9) on their
channels carried as part of the digital satellite package DSTV. Also, they
plan to offer the first Video-On-Demand movie channels, which subscribers
can order via an integrated modem in the satellite receiver. Next year will
also see the start of the Near-Video-On-Demand service: the same program
will be transmitted in intervals of 10,15 minutes on different channels and
subscribers can choose the time to watch them. Another new service will be
high-speed connections to the Internet via satellite: in this case,
connection will be made by a modem integrated in the satellite receiver. 

Although shaken by internal problems and constant defection of major TV
stars, RAI will close 1996 with a stable financial situation and increased
RAI is set to close this year with revenues of around 100 billion lira, 50%
more than in 1995. For 1997, RAI projects profits of around 90 billion lira
and plans to invest 800 billion in programming and for technical costs. In a
few weeks, all of RAI's departments that are involved in buying and selling
of TV rights (among them Sacis) will converge into a single society, which
will cut costs and save RAI around 40 billion lira.
It will not be easy for RAI to enter the market for new multimedia services
(thematic satellite channels, pay-TV). Out of the 800 billion that have been
earmarked, 500 will be used for new programming (a large part will go to
European coproductions). The 300 billion that are left will be enough for
technical costs but not adequate for the launch of digital TV channels. So
it seems the only way ahead are joint-ventures with foreign partners.
Partial audience data show an increase of audience for RAI's three TV
channels in prime-time as well as in other time-slots. RAI now has an 8%
audience lead to Berlusconi's 3 Mediaset channels (Canale 5, Italia 1 and
Rete 4). The biggest success has been recorded by RAI Uno which has
increased its total audience by 0,84%. During the prime time slot, 50 out of
a 100 Italians watch RAI's channels, 42% Mediaset channels and only 8% other
TV networks. 
It seems that RAI's board of directors has realized that Europe needs to be
united in order to stop the American dominance of the TV airwaves. Talks are
underway with major Italian and European media companies such as Stet,
Mediaset, Canal Plus and Kirch which could lead to cooperation in the field
of satellite and pay-TV.  

RAI International's artistic director Renzo Arbore has announced that during
1997 they plan to offer viewers in Europe, the Americas, Australia and Asia
an Italian TV and radio channel which would transmit 24 hours a day. RAI
International already broadcasts RAI's programs to a foreign audience 16
hours a day, via cable and satellite. The majority of the programming is
made up of a selection of programs from RAI's 3 terrestrial services (news
and information, culture, entertainment and sports).
In a separate development, RAI International's director general Roberto
Morrione has said that they plan to start a special Internet site called
Italica, "a virtual campus of Italian life and culture". It's primary goal
would be to expand Italian studies throughout the world.

Italy's only cable TV operator Stream has recently announced the prices for
its cable services which are currently only available in a few major Italian
cities. The cable TV decoder (so-called black-box) costs around 500 DM while
Telepiu's 3 pay-TV channels are offered at 56-700 DM a month. The Blu Stream
bouquet of channels (cost 96 DM a month) includes the following channels:
Eurosport, EBN, Euronews and more than 30 DMX audio services. The costs for
the Telecalcio package (with live transmissions of Italian league football)
are as follows: for 17 games of your favorite team (300 DM a year) and for
all 34 games (500 DM). There is also the possibility to subscribe to two
additional foreign channels which costs another 8 DM a month.

A court in Florence, granted on 11th December the Italian football TV rights
for the next two seasons to Italian media magnate Vittorio Cecchi Gori. This
decision is conditional to the payment of 371 billion lira to the Italian
football federation by noon on the 31st May 1997. The court has upheld the
legal recourse by Cecchi Gori Communications which means that the broadcast
TV rights will move from RAI to Cecchi Gori. 
Last February, Cecchi Gori who owns TV channels TMC and TMC2/Videomusic
bought the football TV rights for a record 615 billion lira. However, his
company was not able to pay the necessary amount by 20 March and
negotiations started with state TV RAI. At that time, a settlement was
reached for sharing the TV rights which however did not happen. Cecchi Gori
was left in the cold and RAI got the whole package (up till 30 June 1999)
for 195 billion lira a year, including Italian cup matches. He decided to
try his luck in the courts and after several legal battles succeeded in
getting his way. 
This decision may mean bad news for European satellite enthusiasts who are
also football fans who up till now were able to watch Italian league
highlights and live Italian cup matches on RAI. From next year, when the TV
rights move to Cecchi Gori, only viewers with digital satellite receivers
will be able to continue to watch Italian football on TMC and
TMC2/Videomusic which are part of Telepiu's digital package DSTV on EUTELSAT
13 degrees East.

                                   FOR THE WEEK DECEMBER 16-22

15.XII - CANALE 5, 20:30h - Per amore solo per amore (ITA-93) starring:
Penelope Cruz, Diego Abatantuono
15.XII - RETE 4, 20:40h - Days of thunder (USA-90) starring: Tom Cruise,
Nicole Kidman
15.XII - RAI DUE, 20:50h - By duty bound (USA-95) starring: Carl Weathers,
Carroll O'Connor
16.XII - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - Grandi magazzini (ITA-86) starring: Enrico
Montesano, Paolo Panelli
16.XII - RETE 4, 20:40h - Third degree burn (USA-89) starring: Virginia
Madsen, Treat Williams
16.XII - RAI UNO, 20:50h - Sansom and Dalilah (USA) - Part I, starring: Eric
Thai, Elizabeth Hurley
16.XII - CANALE 5, 20:50h - Alive! (USA-92) starring: Ethan Hawke, Vincent Spano
16.XII - RETET 4, 22:45h - Daddy longlegs (USA-55) starring: Fred Astaire,
Leslie Caron
17.XII - RETE 4, 20:40h - Ricochet (USA-93) starring: Denzel Washington,
John Lithgow, Ice T
17.XII - RAI UNO, 20:50h - Sansom and Dalilah - Part II
17.XII - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Memoirs of an invisible man (USA-92) starring:
Chevy Chase, Daryl Hannah
17.XII - RETE 4, 23:15h - The Glenn Miller story (USA-54) starring: James
Stewart, June Allyson
17.XII - RAI TRE, 01:20h - New York Stories (USA-89) starring: Nick Nolte,
Woody Allen (na engleskom sa italijanskim titlovima)
18.XII - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - Renegade (ITA-87) starring: Terence Hill, Robert
18.XII - CANALE 5, 20:40h - A holiday to remember (USA-95) starring: Randy
Travis, Connie Sellecca
18.XII - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Without her consent (USA-90) starring: Barry
Tubb, Melissa Gilbert
18.XII - ITALIA  1, 22:30h - Wildcats (USA-86) starring: Goldie Hawn,
Swoosie Kurts
18.XII - RETE 4, 23:00h - The birds (USA-63) starring: Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy
19.XII - RETE 4, 20:40h - Un genio due compari un pollo (ITA-75) starring:
Terence Hill, Klaus Kinski
19.XII - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Dream man (USA-95) starring: Patsy Kensit, Andrew
20.XII - RAI TRE, 20:30h - Back to the future (USA-84) starring: Michael
J.Fox, Christopher Lloyd
20.XII - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - The pathfinder (USA-95) starring: Kevin Dillon,
Graham Green
20.XII - RETE 4, 20:40h - Harper (USA-66) starring: Paul Newman, Lauren
Bacall, Shelley Winters
21.XII - RETE 4, 20:40h - North to Alaska (USA-60) starring: John Wayne,
Stewart Granger
21.XII - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Distant cousin (USA-92) starring: Mel Harris,
William Katt
21.XII - ITALIA 1, 22:30h - Star Trek IV - the voyage home (USA-87)
starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy
21.XII - RETE 4, 23:05h - Emperor of the north (USA-73) starring: Ernest
Borgnine, Lee Marvin
21.XII - CANALE 5, 23:30h - Greystoke: the legend of Tarzan (UK-83)
starring: Christopher Lambert, James Fox, Ralph Richardson

16.XII - RAI TRE, 10:25h - Alpine skiing: Super G (m), Val D'Isere
16.XII - RAI TRE, 19:00h - Basketball: Italian league  VIOLA REGGIO
17.XII - RAI TRE, 09:55h - Alpine skiing: Slalom (m), Madonna di Campiglio
18.XII - RAI UNO, 20:40h - Football: Italian cupe INTER-JUVENTUS
20.XII - RAI TRE, 11:55h - Alpine skiing: World cup, downhill (w), Crans Montana
21.XII - RAI TRE, 09:25h - Alpine skiing: World cup, slalom (w), Crans Montana
21.XII - RAI TRE, 12:40h - Alpine skiing: World cup, downhill (m), Val Gardena
21.XII - RAI TRE, 15:20h - Volleyball: Italian league SISLEY
21.XII - RAI TRE, 17:30h - Waterpolo: Italian league CUS D'ANNUNZIO-INA
21.XII - RAI TRE, 00:05h - Box: European championships, superwelter DAVIDE

18.XII - RAI DUE, 22:30h - Laura Pausini Special
A special program dedicated to the most popular Italian female singer in the
world. The 22 year old Laura Pausini has in only 3 years toured in 32
countries all over the world. Tonight she will present her new single "Le
cose che vivi".
21.XII - RAI DUE, 22:30h - The Beatles: The big adventure - part III 

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