SAT-ITALY 24.04.1997


In a surprising development, the 24-hour satellite music channel MTV has
announced that from September 1st, it will be available via terrestrial
transmitters throughout Italy. MTV will broadcast its programs via Rete A, a
nationwide TV channel owned by editor Alberto Peruzzo and which has until
now been showing information and shopping TV programs. Peruzzo will keep a
30-min slot a day which will be reserved for information. This deal means
that Italy will be the only country in Europe where MTV's programs can be
seen via a non-pay-TV network. According to some market analysts, the deal
between Peruzzo and MTV Networks is said to be worth around 35 million DEM.
Up till now, MTV's programs have been transmitted terrestrially and
unscrambled, 11 hours a day thanks to the Tele+3 channel. It is very
probable that the existing accord for terrestrial retransmission between MTV
and Telepiu will be canceled, and there is a big question mark over the
future of MTV as part of Telepiu's digital satellite service.
MTV has also announced that the man in charge of the new venture will be
Antonio Campo dell'Orto who previously worked at Berlusconi's Canale 5. He
has already announced that MTV Italy will daily transmit 4-5 hours a day of
programming which will be produced in Milan. MTV Italy like the other MTV
regional services will be primarily aimed at viewers in the 15-35 age group.
The signal of Rete A currently covers only 60% of the Italian peninsula
(around 11 million households) but it is hoping to expand its coverage after
the new Telecommunications bill is passed in the Italian Parliament.

After four months of experimental broadcasts, the specialized news and
business channel Bloomberg Television was officially launched in Italy on
April 16th. Bloomberg Italy is a joint-venture between Michael Bloomberg's
business news company, Italian news agency Ansa and pay-TV network Telepiu.
It is broadcast as part of Telepiu's digital satellite service Telepiu
Satellite, and from next month will be on the air 24 hours a day.
Bloomberg's all news channel currently is seen by over 118 million people on
four continents. Besides Italy, Bloomberg has already a Japanese and French
service and Spain, Germany and Holland are to follow soon.
At the same ceremony, Mario Rasini, one of Telepiu's managers announced that
that the number of subscribers to the digital satellite service stands at
70,000, compared to 800,000 subscribers to the analog channels. The
objective is to reach 500,000 new subscribers by 1998 for the analog and
digital services combined. He also confirmed that by this summer,
subscribers will be able to lease the digital boxes for around 15 DEM a
month, instead of buying the equipment which currently retails for around
2,000 DEM. By the end of the year, an Italian version of The Disney Channel
will join the package as well as a classic movie channel, NBC Europe and CNBC.

Italian state television RAI has reported a growth in revenues for the year
1996. They amounted to 100 million DEM compared to 68 million DEM the year
before. Also, RAI succeeded in reducing its debt from 757 million DEM (in
1995) to 200 million (in 1996).
There has also been an increase in ad revenues as well as the money coming
in from the license fee. In 1995, the total ad revenues totaled 1,333
million DEM while for 1996 they totaled 1,500 million. From the TV license
fee RAI collected 2,361 million DEM (in 1995) and 2,400 million (in 1996).
In a separate development, following the accord signed by RAI with Stet for
the development of satellite and cable TV services, it is rumored that RAI
will buy a minority stake (around 5%) in Stream, Stet's multimedia
subsidiary. Also, it is expected that Stream will financially help RAI to
launch new thematic satellite TV channels.

The General secretary of the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI), Mons. Ennio
Antonelli  has confirmed that they plan to launch to their own satellite
channel from 1998. The channel will initially broadcast religious and
cultural programs 6-8 hours a day. The channel will be primarily aimed at
local TV stations throughout Italy who will be able to retransmit its programs. 

After more than 14 months of meetings, accusations and even legal action,
the TV rights for Italian league football have finally been assigned. The
agreement reached between the Italian league teams (Lega Calcio) on one side
and the major TV players (RAI, Mediaset and Cecchi Gori) on the other side.  
RAI gets to keep the broadcast TV rights and radio rights on Sundays up till
the 19:00 h. slot, based on the contract signed with Lega Calcio up till
June 30th 1999. Cecchi Gori's TV stations, TMC and TMC2/Videomusic have
obtained the exclusive rights in the 19:00-22:30h. slot, in exchange for
ceding a package of 38 movies to RAI.  After 22:30 h., all TV stations are
allowed to show match images.
Compared to the recent RAI-Cecchi Gori accord, the new element is that the
Lega Calcio has assigned the rights to the Italian Cup games. The new
package will be divided to all three TV networks: RAI (11 games), Mediaset
(9) and Cecchi Gori (6). The later will show the games of the 1st-3rd round
while the other games will be shown by RAI and Mediaset. In return, the Lega
Calcio will receive 23 million DEM a year for the period 1997-1999.
As a result of this agreement, it is also expected that Mediaset will give
to RAI the TV rights for the World championship qualifying match
Georgia-Italy. According to media analysts, there is a hope that this
agreement, in which all the major TV players took part, may be helpful for
the passage of the new Telecommunications bill whose approval is bogged down
in the Senate.

The deal we reported last week between Rete Mia and the Walt Disney Company
is now officially confirmed. The media group Scandinavian Broadcasting
System (SBS) which is based in Luxembourg and in which the Walt Disney
Company has a 20% stake, has in fact bought 10,1% of the Italian TV station
Rete Mia. The deal also includes an option valid for 2 years for SBS to buy
up the rest of the capital of the TV station. According to market estimates,
Rete Mia is valued at around 120 million DEM.
Rete Mia is in fact one of the 12 national TV channels authorized by the
Government to cover all of the Italian peninsula. However, the current
coverage is area is 75% and is expected to increase soon. According to the
Italian daily "Corriere della Sera", Rete Mia has also leased a transponder
on the ASTRA satellite system. Before the deal, the ownership structure of
Rete Mia was as follows: Profit (30%), Videopiu (30%) and Internova (40%).
Up till now, Rete Mia has been a shopping channel and the future programming
of the channel is at this point still uncertain. Disney cartoons will
certainly be a major part of the schedule, but it is also expected that
there will also be lots of U.S. produced programs. Back in 1993, SBS in fact
signed a ten-year deal with Viacom/Paramount for TV programs and movies from
the Hollywood studio.
SBS currrently operates six commercial TV channels in the Benelux and
Scandinavian countries. They are as follows: TV Norge (Norway), Kanal 5
(Sweden), VT4 (Belgium), SBS 6 (Holland), TV Denmark (Denmark) and Kanal A

- RAI has announced that from this autumn it will introduce a short news
bulletin (8-10 minutes long) for younger viewers on the RAI Uno TV channel.
- Telecom Italia has signed a contract with the Cored Consortium for cabling
up 40 major Italian cities. The Cored Consortium is made up of Sirti,
Italtel and the cable manufacturer Pirelli Cavi. The contract is worth
around 2,500 million DEM.
- According to a recent survey, 65% of Italians watch 3 hr. of television a
day, 13,9% five hours and 17,2% only 2 hr. a day. Nearly 75% of Italian
households also have a second TV set.
- RAI Tre has started broadcasting a daily news bulletin (at 13:40h) aimed
at viewers in Albania. It is produced at RAI's regional center in Bari and
can be seen in the Puglia region as well as on the analog satellite feed on
- After the U.S and the U.K., the non-stop music channel The Box has also
started transmitting in Italy. The Box is in fact a request service, with
viewers calling in and requesting their favorite music clips. Several local
TV stations throughout Italy are showing The Box including Magic TV in Rome.

                                   FOR THE WEEK APRIL 27-MAY 3

29.IV - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Racket - Part I (ITA-96), starring: Michele
Placido, Nicola Grimaudo
29.IV - RAI TRE, 01:15h - Thank your luckiy stars (USA-43), starring: Eddie
Cantor, Dennis Morgan (in English with Italian subtitles)
30.IV - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Occhio alla penna (ITA-81), starring: Bud Spencer,
Renato Scarpa
1.V - RAI TRE, 20:40h - Lethal Weapon (USA-87), starring: Mel Gibson, Danny
Glover, Gary Busey
1.V - RAI UNO, 01:15h - Kapo' (ITA-59), starring: Susan Strasberg, Laurent
2.V - RAI TRE, 20:40h - Lethal Weapon II (USA-89), starring: Mel Gibson,
Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Patsy Kensit
2.V - RAI UNO, 22:50h - Morte a Venezia (ITA-71), starring: Dirk Bogarde,
Marisa Berenson
3.V - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Stay the night (USA-91), starring: Barbara Hershey,
Morgan Weisser

27.IV - RAI DUE, 13:30h - Formula 1: GP San Marino
27.IV - RAI DUE, 19:00h - Basketball (m): Italian league, BENETTON
30.IV - RAI TRE, 15:40h - Basketball (m): Italian league, play-off
30.IV - RAI UNO, 20:40h - Football: WC qualifiers, ITALY-POLAND (live from
1.V - RAI UNO, 16:00h - Football: EC qualifiers (Under 21s), ITALY-POLAND 
2.V - RAI TRE, 15:55h - Volleyball (w): Italian league
3.V - RAI TRE, 15:25h - Volleyball (m): Italian league, 3rd final game
3.V - RAI TRE, 18:00h - Hockey on ice: World championships, ITALY-CANADA

27.IV - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Julio Iglesias sings Tango
1.V - RAI DUE, 16:05h - May 1st concert live from San Giovanni square in
Rome - Part I 
Taking part are Sinead O'Connor, Jovanotti and Blur among other artists
1.V - RAI DUE, 20:50h - May 1st concert live - Part II 
3.V - RAI UNO, 23:20h - Eurovision Song Concert'97 from Dublin 

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