SAT-ITALY 19.06.1997


The Italian pay-TV network Telepiu will soon offer potential subscribers the
possibility of leasing the digital satellite equipment needed to receive the
service. Hopes are that this will provided the needed boost in the number of
subscribers which currently stands at around 80,000. This new initiative
will be made possible, partly thanks to the arrival on the Italian market of
the Korean electronics manufacturer Hyundai which will offer its own digital
box. Up till now the combination of live Italian league soccer and the
possibility of subscribing to different packages of channels has not
attracted a large number of Italian viewers. 
The leasing operation will probably start from September and the monthly
cost will be around 50 DEM. This follows a several month successful trial
period in the Milan area. However, there is a downside to this operation and
that is that the broadcaster will initially have to shoulder the initial
financial burden of the operation, by buying up the digital boxes and then
leasing them.
The Italian satellite market is currently dominated by three major
manufacturers of digital boxes - Nokia, Pace and Grundig. It seems that
Hyundai is planning to offer its boxes at a significantly lower price than
the competition which will shake the market. There is a strong possibility
that Telepiu could sign an exclusive agreement with Hyundai which would mean
that the Korean firm would become the exclusive supplier for the leasing
deal. However, the leasing operation would include only the digital boxes,
but not the satellite dish which the customer would have to buy separately.

The under-secretary of the Ministry for telecommunications Vicenzo Vita has
declared that the Italian government is planning to significantly reduce the
amount of advertising and so called "TV shopping" on the major Italian TV
networks. This follows a similar intervention by Vita, three years ago, Vita
called for the total suppression of publicity breaks when movies are
broadcast on TV.
The current government initiative could result in the approval of a new bill
which would regulate this area. The new bill would for example prohibit
state television RAI from broadcasting any commercial promotion offers (so
called TV shopping), while the national commercial TV stations would have to
drastically cut the broadcast time devoted to this type of programs. The TV
shopping programs would only be allowed on local TV stations which already
earn nearly 200 million DEM out of this activity.
If this bill was to be approved by the Italian Parliament, estimates are
that the main private TV network Mediaset is set to loose more than 350
million DEM in lost revenues, while the figure for RAI would be around 100
million DEM.

A new joint-venture between the Russian company Inforcosmos and the Italian
state company Stet/Nuova Telespazio for providing mobile phone services in
Russia has recently been signed. 
Marems is owned 51% by Inforcosmos and 49% by Nuova Telespazio. The new
company will start offering mobile satellite services (voice, data,
emergency data) by the end of this year. It will use the special EMS
transponder used for telecommunication services on the Italian satellite

For more than one year, Italian state television RAI has been working on a
project called "Micro Cinema" whose aim is to serve as a service provider
for several new multimedia service. One of these new services could be the
satellite distribution in high-definition, of new movies to small cinema
halls throughout Italy. 
Tests have been successfully conducted since last year's Venice film
festival when Vittorio de Sica's movie "Umberto D" was broadcast to viewers
in Venice and Paris. Currently the major problem that is hindering the
development of this service is the high cost of digital receivers.
Besides RAI, other Italian companies have joined the "Micro Cinema" project
and they include Eutelsat, Seleco and Eta Beta.
The broadcasting method is in fact very simple. The latest movie titles
would be uplinked via Telespazio to the EUTELSAT satellites. Cinema halls
throughout Italy can then receive the signal with dishes of a diameter no
more than 50cm.


22.VI - RAI TRE, 20:40h - Il conte Montecristo - Part I (ITA), starring:
Corso Salani, Mario Scaccia
22.VI - RAI UNO, 20:45h - Holy matrimony (USA-1994), starring: Patricia
Arquette, Tate Donovan
23.VI - RAI UNO, 20:50h - Big Wednesday (USA-1978), starring: Gary Busey,
Jan Michel Vincent
24.VI - RAI DUE, 20:50h -The bounty (USA-1984), starring: Mel Gibson,
Anthony Hopkins
24.VI - RAI TRE, 20:50h - Il conte Montecristo - Part II (ITA), starring:
Corso Salani, Mario Scaccia
25.VI - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Mia per sempre - Part III (ITA), starring: Lisa
Hearns, Tobias Moretti
26.VI - RAI DUE, 20:50h - Princess in love (USA-1996), starring: Julie Cox,
Christopher Bowen
26.VI - RAI TRE, 20:50h - Deadly web (USA-1995), starring: Gigi Rice, Robin
27.VI - RAI UNO, 20:50h - Mia per sempre - Part IV (ITA), starring: Tobias
Moretti, Lisa Hearns 
28.VI - RAI UNO, 20:50h - Escape to victory (USA-1981), starring: Sylvester
Stallone, Michael Caine

22.VI - RAI TRE, 14:55h - Athletics: European cup from Munich
24.VI - RAI TRE, 17:00h - Athletics: International meeting from Turin
25.VI - RAI TRE, 15:55h - Basketball: European championships, LITHUANIA-ITALY
26.VI - RAI DUE, 17:55h - Basketball: European championships, ITALY-YUGOSLAVIA
27.VI - RAI TRE, 16:20h - Athletics: International meeting from Malles
27.VI - RAI DUE, 17:55h - Basketball: European championships, ITALY-POLAND
28.VI - RAI TRE, 12:50h - Formula 1: GP France - heats
28.VI - RAI TRE, 17:30h - Athletics: International meeting

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