SAT-ITALY 30.01.1997


According to the Italian weekly "L'Espresso", Italian media magnate is
planning to sell his stake in German sports channel DSF. It seems that a
contract was signed last December according to which Reteinvest Holding, a
holding company of Berlusconi's Fininvest will sell its 33% stake in
Deutsche Sport Fernsehen to Persimon AG from January 1st this year. In case
Persimon does not act by that date (which it didn't), Reteinvest will have
full rights to sell its stake to Persimon from January 1st 1999. The asking
price is 88 million DEM.
It seems that Persimon is a company registered in Liechtenstein loosely
linked to German media magnate Leo Kirch. However, due to German antitrust
laws Kirch is not in a position to have the controlling interest in Persimon. 

One month after signing a strategic alliance, Stet and IBM have announced
plans to start pay-TV and video-on-demand services for the Italian market.
Stet's holding company for multimedia Stream together with IBM Video Enabled
Solutions is working on the development of Digital Video Broadcasting
television systems. The services that Stet and IBM are set to launch via
fiberoptic and coaxial cable networks are based on this technology.  Stet
has precised that this project is currently in an experimental phase. 

The Italian satellite TV market is slowly becoming a success story. Last
autumn the number of installed dishes totaled 750,000, with 250,000 new
dishes installed during 1996. The average cost for installing a satellite
system is around 200,000 LIT (200 DEM). 
Although Italy is located at the bottom of the European satellite
penetration chart, it is considered a  a high potential market for satellite
TV. There are several reasons for this optimism. First of all, Italy is in
4th place for the number of TV households (behind Germany, the UK and
France). Also, it is not saturated with analogue reception systems and it is
still a virgin territory for pay-TV and digital TV. 

Italian children are watching less and less television programs and prefer
instead to play with computers and videogames. Estimates are that around 30%
of Italian families have a PC. The most popular program for children is
"Solletico", transmitted on RAI Uno with 1,400,000 viewers, thanks to the
Japanese cartoons which children prefer. On the other hand, "Go Cart" (RAI
Due) has registered a fall in audience - allegedly because it shows US
produced cartoons which are less popular with Italian children. 
According to Marco Alabiso, director of Junior TV a children's channel
transmitted in syndication throughout Italy "there is an excess of fer since
every day Italian TV channels show 25 hours of cartoons". Videogames and
educational software programs are the most serious competitors for Mickey
and other Disney heroes.

On Friday, January 24th, the Italian government announced that the national
telecommunications operator Telecom Italia was to merge with Stet, its
holding company in charge of telephony. The new company will retain the name
Telecom Italia, but two new managers will be in charge - Guido Rossi and
Tomaso Tommasi di Vignano. Telecom Italia will be quoted on the world
markets, notably in Milan and on Wall Street.
It is expected that this merger (which will be operative in a few months)
will ease the way towards the full privatization of this telecommunications
giant. This decision which was anticipated last November was partly due to
pressure from potential investors from Italy and the world and institutional
pressure from Brussels in the person of the UE commisioner Karel van Miert
who is in charge of monopolies and mergers.
Telecom Italia is in fact the owner of Italy's only satellite communications
operator, Nuova Telespazio.

It is likely that the two major TV companies in Italy, RAI and Mediaset will
soon reach an agreement for dividing broadcast TV rights for some major
sports events. This could mean the return of Giro d'Italia on the RAI
channels and the state run TV network would also get the rights to transmit
the games in the Champions league of one of the two Italian teams that will
be represented. In exchange, Mediaset would get half of the Formula 1 races,
for which it held the rights in previous years.
This agreement has been useful for both sides for several reasons. RAI has
recently spent a fortune to buy up the rights for home matches of the
Italian national team and is not in a position to enter auctions for other
sporting events. On the other hand, Mediaset want's to last autumn's
situation when it had the TV rights to both Italian teams (Milan and
Juventus) in the Champions league and was forced, due to commercial reasons,
to show only one match live, giving over the other match to pay-TV network
Telepiu. However, in the case that next season one of the two Italian teams
is eliminated early, the games of the other Italian team in the competition
will be carried only by Mediaset.
It seems that radio listenership in Italy is on the increase after several
years of crisis in this part of the media industry. A recent survey
commissioned by Audiradio researched the listenership for the three RAI
radio stations and for 270 private local stations. It seems that in one
year, the number of radio listeners has increased by one million and that
the average daily listening time amounts to 2h50m.
69,1% of Italians listen to radio every day while 82,1% listen at least once
a week. Interestingly, the female audience is especially high - 64,3%. 
The three most popular radio stations are: RAI Radio 1 (8,436,000
listeners), RAI Radio 2 (6,096,000) and Radio Deejay Network (4,583,000).
The first two all also transmitted via satellite to Europe as well as Radio
Italia Solo Musica Italiana (6th) and RAI Radio 3 (10th).

                                   FOR THE WEEK FEBRUARY 2-8

2.II - RETE 4, 20:40h - Tightrope (USA-84), starring: Clint Eastwood, Dan Hedaya
2.II - ITALIA 1, 20:40h - Yuppies 2 (ITA-86), starring: Christian de Sica,
Massimo Boldi
2.II - RAI UNO, 20:45h - Schicksalsjahre einer Kaiserin (AUST-57), starring:
Romy Schneider, Karlheinz Bohm
2.II - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Dream man (USA-95), starring: Patsy Kensit, Andrew
3.II - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - The goonies (USA-85), starring: Sean Astin, Josh
3.II - RETE 4, 20:35h - She was marked for murder (USA-88), starring:
Stefanie Powers, Hunt Block
3.II - RAI UNO, 20:50h - L'America (ITA-94), starring: Enrico Lo Verso,
Michele Placido
3.II - CANALE 5, 20:50h - Accidental hero (USA-92), starring: Dustin
Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy Garcia
3.II - RETE 4, 22:30h - Hardcore (USA-78), starring: George C.Scott, Peter Boyle
4.II - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - The last boyscout (USA-91), starring: Bruce
Willis, Damon Wayons
4.II - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Falling for you (USA-95), starring: Jennie Garth,
Billy Dee Williams
4.II - CANALE 5, 20:50h - Sorellina e il principe del sogno (ITA) - Part II,
starring: Valeria Marini, Raz Degan
4.II - RETE 4, 23:30h - Turne (ITA-89), starring: Diego Abantantuono,
Fabrizio Bentivoglio
5.II - RETE 4, 20:40h - Da grande (ITA-87), starring: Renato Pozzetto,
Giulia Boschi
5.II - RAI UNO, 20:50h - Lightning in a bottle (USA-94), starring: Lynda
Carter, Dee Wallace Stone
5.II - RAI DUE, 21:55h - Royce (USA-93), starring: James Belushi, Peter Boyle
5.II - RETE 4, 22:45h - Sugarland Express (USA-74), starring: Goldie Hawn,
Ben Johnson
6.II - RETE 4, 22:30h - Via Montenapoleone (ITA-86), starring: Carol Alt,
Luca Barbareschi
7.II - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - Raw deal (USA-86), starring: Arnold
Schwarzenegger, Darren McGavin
7.II - RAI TRE, 20:45h - Terminator (USA-84), starring: Arnold
Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn
7.II - RAI UNO, 22:50h - Much ado about nothing (UK-93), starring: Kenneth
Branagh, Emma Thompson
8.II - RETE 4, 20:35h - Death Wish 2 (USA-92), starring: Charles Bronson,
Vincent Gardenia
8.II - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Vision of murder 2 (USA-93), starring: Barbara
Eden, Ted Marcoux
8.II - RETE 4, 22:45h - The taking of Pelham 1-2-3 (USA-74), starring:
Walther Matthau, Martin Balsam
8.II - CANALE 5, 23:20h - Ostinato destino (ITA-92), starring: Alessandro
Gassman, Monica Bellucci

2.II - RAI TRE, 09:55h - Alpine skiing: World cup, Super G (w) from Laax
2.II - RAI DUE, 17:00h - Basketball: Italian league, TEAMSYSTEM
3.II - RAI TRE, 12:50h - Alpine skiing: World cup, Super G (m) from Sestriere
5.II - RAI DUE, 17:50h - Alpine skiing: World cup, slalom (w) from Sestriere
5.II - ITALIA 1, 20:30h - Football: Supercup, JUVENTUS-PARIS ST GERMAIN
6.II - RAI TRE, 11:50h - Alpine skiing: World cup, downhill (m) from Sestriere
6.II - RAI DUE, 17:50h - Alpine skiing: World cup, slalom (m) from Sestriere
6.II - RAI DUE, 20:40h - Football: PSV EINDHOVEN-INTER (friendly)
7.II - RAI TRE, 11:00h-12:00h - Tennis: Davis cup, ITALY-MEXICO, live from Rome
7.II - RAI UNO, 13:55h-15:35h - Tennis: Davis cup, ITALY-MEXICO, live from Rome
7.II - RAI TRE, 15:40h-17:00h - Tennis: Davis cup, ITALY-MEXICO, live from Rome
7.II - RAI DUE, 18:25h-19:50h - Tennis: Davis cup, ITALY-MEXICO, live from Rome
8.II - RAI TRE, 12:50h - Alpine skiing: World cup, downhill (m) from Sestriere
8.II - RAI DUE, 13:30h-15:25h - Tennis: Davis cup, ITALY-MEXICO, live from Rome
8.II - RAI TRE, 15:15h-15:55h - Tennis: Davis cup, ITALY-MEXICO, live from Rome
8.II - RAI TRE, 15:55h - Volleyball: Italian cup, final live from Siena

[Other mailing lists]