SAT-ITALY 02.05.1997


During the recently held MIP-TV market in Cannes, the Italian pay-TV network
Telepiu confirmed the launch of an Italian version of The Disney Channel by
the end of the year. Movies, cartoons and TV series will form the basis of
the program schedule of the new channel which will be broadcast as part of
Telepiu's digital satellite service.
The opening of an Italian Disney Channel is just part of a global strategy
in the television field, undertaken by Buena Vista which already operates
similar ventures in the U.K., France and the Middle East and is about to
launch a Japanese service. The Walt Disney Company has also signed a second
deal with Telepiu which will enable the analog channel Tele+1 to show movies
produced by Disney, Touchstone, Miramax and Hollywood Pictures. On the other
hand, Italian state television RAI has signed an exclusive five-year
contract for Disney's television programs (including those produced by ABC).

The latest research conducted by Ente per lo Spettacolo has confirmed that
U.S. produced movies are dominating the Italian TV screens while Italian
movies are shown at very late hours or early in the morning. 
According to the research, 3,267 movies were shown on the principal TV
networks, RAI, Mediaset and TMC. The percentage of U.S. movies has increased
by 6% compared to 1995, while Italian movies have decreased by 4%. More than
half the movies shown in 1996 were of U.S. origin, while more than half of
the Italian movies shown were broadcast at very late night hours. After
American and Italian movies, the most shown movies were those produced in
the U.K.
The most popular movie genres are: comedy (29,7% of all movies shown) and
drama (24,4%) followed by adventure movies, thrillers and westerns. Comedies
are shown mostly in the afternoon and in the early prime time slot while
dramas are shown in the second part of the prime time slot. The Italian
channel which has shown the most number of movie titles is Rete 4 (20,8%).

The Nettuno company based in Cineca has announced that it has started
offering a Internet service via satellite called DirectPC Turbo Internet.
The transmission system used enables data transmissions at the speed of
400,000 bits a second. In order to receive the data, the subscriber has to
buy a special kit made up of a circuit board for the computer and a
satellite dish. The monthly cost for the service is between 200 DEM (30 Mb a
month) to 1,400 DEM (1 Gb a month), depending on the amount of data traffic.
The price includes a normal subscription to the Internet vai modem with no
limits on usage time.

The Italian government via its Ministry for posts and telecommunications has
announced that it will set up a special commission for the development of
digital TV services. The idea is to include all the major operators in this
sector in order to discuss all the technical and economical aspects of the
project. Contrary to what was previously announced, the government has no
preferences for a single or multiple digital platforms (or bouquets). Both
solutions have their advantages and disadvantages, and it will be left to
the operators to decide if they want to form alliances.
Meanwhile, it has been announced that the Government will bring the proposed
Telecommunications bill before Parliament on May 13th, whose approval has
been bogged down for the last eight months. It is expected that the debate
will last three days form May 13th-15th, but the end result is still uncertain.

Canal Plus, the principal shareholder of Italy's pay-TV service Telepiu is
planning to drastically cut Telepiu's three existing analog TV channels
which are currently transmitted via terrestrial transmitters throughout
Italy. According to an article in Italian weekly "L'Espresso", Canal Plus
will abandon the concept of thematic channels - Tele+1 showing movies,
Tele+2 sports and Tele+3 music and arts programming. Instead, Telepiu will
have only one terrestrial TV channel which will be a premium service showing
a mix of movies, sports and arts programs. This channel will also serve as a
promotional vehicle for the digital package Telepiu Satellite which is
broadcast digitally via the 13 Degrees East orbital position.
Italian TV channels were well represented at the recently held MIP-TV fair
in Cannes, with all major players (RAI, Mediaset and Cecchi Gori) signing
deals for new programs.
Berlusconi's TV holding company Mediaset announced several forthcoming
coproduction projects. Together with Hallmark and Betafilm they will produce
a 2 part mini-series "Moby Dick|" starring Gregory Peck and Patrick Stewart.
An agreement has been signed with the French channels FR3 and M6 for several
TV movies called "Sono tutti nostri bambini" which will star Claudia Cardinale. 
One of the jewels of the next TV season will be the mini-series "Odyssey" a
coproduction venture between Mediaset and NBC. The producer of the series is
Francis Ford Coppola and it stars Armand Assante, Greta Scacchi and Isabella
Rossellini among others.
Several acquisition agreements have been signed with the U.S. majors, among
them TV series "Police Academy" and "Robin Hood" (both from Warner) and a
package of Paramount movie titles which includes "From Dusk to Dawn", "Up
close and personal" and two Woody Allen movies (including "Everybody says I
love you"). A long term agreement has also been signed with NBC which will
enable Mediaset to show TV movies and mini-series realized by the American
network. Other acquisitions include: the mini-series "Asteroid" and TV
movies based on Danielle Steel's novels.
The other principal commercial TV network in Italy, TMC (owned by Vittorio
Cecchi Gori) has bought the rights to the 26-hour long MGM produced series
"Stargate" as well as Oscar winner "The English patient" which is set to
have it's Italian TV premiere in 1998 or 1999.
Like Mediaset, state television RAI has also signed several new
co-production deals. The first project is a mini-series called "Elefante
Bianco" to be filmed in Shangai together with France Television, Gaumont and
Bavaria Film. In Tunis and Turkey, RAI will shoot "Iliade" while in August
this year, together with German and Swedish partners, RAI will produce two
episodes of "La piovra 9". Other future projects include: "Alla presenza di
un clown" (new TV movie by Ingmar Bergman) and "Incantesimo" (filming starts
in May, together with Kirch and Antenna 3).

The specialized publication "Rivista del Cinematografo" recently conducted a
survey of the movies transmitted on the Italian TV channels during 1996. It
emerges that the American movies produced in the 80's (1981-1990) are the
most present on Italian TV - 28,85%. Second placed are recent movies
(1991-1996) with 18,17% and they are followed by movies from the 60's
(15,97%), 50's (15,76%) and 70's (14,51%).

- From next October, a specialized Italian music channel called Match Music
will join the Telepiu Satellite digital package.
- One of the managers of the Italian TV holding company Mediaset, Ubaldo
Livolsi has confirmed that they are searching for new foreign TV partners.
- The Italian company Contel has recently signed an agreement with British
Telecom for the development of satellite communications in Italy. Contel is
active in the satellite uplinking and audio/video distribution field, mostly
for SNG purposes.

                                   FOR THE WEEK MAY 4-10

05.V - RAI UNO, 20:40h - Schindler's list (USA-93), starring: Liam Neeson,
Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes
06.V - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Racket - Part II (ITA-96), starring: Michele Placido
07.V - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Il padre di mia figlia (ITA), starring: Sabrina
Ferilli, Claudio Bigagli
09.V - RAI TRE, 20:40h - Lethal Weapon 3 (USA-92), starring: Mel Gibson,
Danny Glover, Rene Russo
09.V - RAI UNO, 23:00h - Al ciascuno il suo (ITA-67), starring: Gian Maria
Volonte, Irene Papas
10.V - RAI DUE, 20:50h - The cold heart of a killer (USA-94), starring:
Michael Dermian, Kate Jackson
10.V - RAI UNO, 00:20h - Fratelli e sorelle (ITA-92), starring: Anna
Bonaiuto, Franco Nero

04.V - RAI DUE, 19:00h - Basketball: Italian league - semifinals, play-off
05.V - RAI TRE, 15:05h - Tennis: Italia Open from Rome (women)
06.V - RAI TRE, 15:05h - Tennis: Italia Open from Rome (women)
07.V  - RAI TRE, 15:05h - Tennis: Italia Open from Rome (women)
07.V - RAI UNO, 20:25h - Football: UEFA Cup (finals) SCHALKE 04-INTER
08.V - RAI TRE, 15:05h - Tennis: Italia Open from Rome (women)
08.V - RAI UNO, 20:40h - Football: Italian Cup (final) NAPOLI-VICENZA
09.V - RAI TRE, 15:05h - Tennis: Italia Open from Rome (women)
10.V - RAI TRE, 12:50h - Formula 1: GP Monaco (qualifying rounds)
10.V - RAI TRE, 14:55h - Tennis: Italia Open from Rome - polufinale (women)
11.V - RAI DUE, 13:30h - Formula 1: GP Monaco - live coverage 
11.V - RAI TRE, 14:55h - Tennis: Italia Open from Rome - finale (women)

08.V - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Classical concert: Otello performed by the Berlin
Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado

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