SAT-ITALY 31.10.1997

SAT-ITALY - EDITION 40/97 - October 31st 1997 -
Italian Satellite and Media news edited by Branislav Pekic

After starting with experimental broadcasts on September 1st, the new
thematic satellite channel Marcopolo was officially launched on October
21st. A press conference was held in Rome where the new channel dedicated
to travel was presented. The president of the new channel, Giancarlo
Innocenzi said that the results from this period have been "very
encouraging", with some people wanting to install satellite dishes just to
be able to watch the Marcopolo channel.
Marcopolo is broadcast as part of Telepiù's digital bouquet D+ and is part
of the "Basic package" of channels. It is owned by Sitcom Spa, a joint
venture between LT Corporate Communication and Finmedia. The initial
capital of the company is valued 200,000 DM, but this is set to increase to
3 million DEM by the end of this year. Around 100 people are employed at
the channel. The CEO of Sitcom, Valter la Tona confirmed that talks are
currently going on with several potential partners, including an
Anglo-American company and Italian investors. Marcopolo currently
broadcasts 17 hours a day, and as of December 1st this will increase to 24
hours a day. 
- Il primo canale tematico satellitare italiano interamente dedicato ai
viaggi, Marcopolo è stato presentato officialmente il 21 ottobre a Roma. Il
canale trasmette dal 1 settembre 17 ore di programmi - 24 ore a partire del
1 dicembre.  Giancarlo Innocenzi, presidente del nuovo canale  ha
dichiarato che i risultati di questo primo periodo sono molto incoraggianti
e spiega "abbiamo avuto persino richieste di installazione di parabole
esclusivamente per "Marcopolo"..
Il canale tematico, diffuso attraverso la piattaforma satellitare di
Telepiù, fa capo alla Sitcom Spa, una società nata dall'incontro fra la Lt
Corporate communication e la Finmedia. Duecento milioni di capitale, 100
dipendenti, Sitcom punta ad aumentare il capitale sociale a tre miliardi
entro il '97. 

RAI's third thematic satellite channel devoted to culture and entertainment
programs, RaiSat 3, went on air October 27th. This channel, together with
the previously launched RaiSat 2 and 3 is broadcast in digital MPEG-2 and
unscrambled via the EUTELSAT HOT BIRD 2 satellite.
Initially, RaiSat 1 will broadcast 6 hours a day and the programs will be
repeated 4 times a day. The program schedule will be made up of programs
devoted to music, theatre, cinema, literature, and poetry. Some days will
be reserved for specific programs - Wednesdays for movies, Saturdays for
art programming (in cooperation with the Franco-German channel Arte) and
Sundays for history programs (in cooperation with the U.S. based The
History Channel). The director of the channel, which is based in Torino, is
Paolo Giaccio.
At the launch, the president of RAI, Enzo Siciliano underlined the
importance that RAI has given to the launch of new digital channels. The
director of RaiSat, Carlo Sartori said that the RaiSat channels are the
first step in the imminent process of convergence between TV and computers
and on-line multimedia. He also presented new device, which will for less
than 100 DM enable viewers to receive the 3 digital channels as normal
terrestrial channels, with no need for buying a decoder.
- Dal 27 ottobre RaiSat 1-Cultura e spettacolo trasmette 24 ore al giorno
(divise in quattro blocchi di 6 ore). Diretto da Paolo Giaccio, offre
musica, teatro, danza, letteratura, poesia. Il mercoledi sarà tutto
dedicato al cinema d'autore, il sabato all'arte (in collaborazione con la
rete culturale franco-tedesca Arte) e la domenica all storia, coi
documentari dell'americana The History Channel.
Il direttore di RaiSat, Carlo Sartori, ha illustrato un apparecchio che
consentirà ai singoli condomini «con poche decine di migliaia di lire, di
avere come un normale canale analogico le reti gratuite di RaiSat, senza
acquistare alcun decoder personale, utilizzando il telecomando. 

Another new thematic satellite channel is set to join Telepiù's digital
bouquet D+ as of November. Canal Jimmy is a channel produced by Canal
Plus's subsidiary Multithematiques and will aimed at viewers in the 3-40
age year old group. Its program schedule will be made up of "cult" TV
programs, rock concerts and original programmes. 
- Da novembre il bouquet digitale Telepiù D+si arricchisce di un nuovo
canale tematico, Canal Jimmy.  L'emittente prodotta dalla Multithematique e
dedicata alle generazioni dei trenta-quarantenni. Trasmetterà i programmi
"cult" della TV, concerti rock e trasmissioni realizzate direttamente nei
propri studi.

In a recent interview with the Italian financial daily "Il Sole 24 Ore",
the CEO of the Italian TV holding company Mediaset and member of the
administrative council of Telepiù, Adriano Galliani talked about the future
of digital TV in Italy and the importance of sports events for the success
of a TV service.
Regarding the talks going on concerning a single Italian digital platform,
Galliani said that it is very important that a substantial stake in Telepiù
is held by Italian companies, otherwise it will mean that a second digital
platform will be formed, and Mediaset will then decide on which side it
will be.
According to Galliani, general entertainment and pay-TV channels are not
competing against each other for revenues because the source of financing
is different: advertising and subscriptions. He thinks that the real battle
will be fought over sports TV rights. He cited the example of the broadcast
TV rights for Italian football which were worth 3 million DM a season at
the beginning of the '80-s, and now are worth 200 million DM. The arrival
of digital television will only serve to increase those figures.
The CEO of Mediaset also said that there are currently 140,000 subscribers
to Telepiù's digital bouquet D+ and he expects that total number of
subscribers will reach 200 to 250,000 by the end of 1997. Out of the
above-mentioned number, 60,000 have subscribed to the live football games
(+Calcio). He confirmed that very soon, viewers will be offered the
possibility of subscribing to single football games (pay-per-view) at a
price that will range between 15 and 20 DM. Galliani expects that by July
1st 1999, TV rights will be negotiated by individual clubs (similar to what
is now happening in Spain) and not by one single entity as is now the case.
- In una intervista a "Il Sole 24 Ore", Adriano Galliani, amministratore
delegato Mediaset e membro del consiglio di amministrazione Telepiù, ha
parlato del futuro della TV digitale in Italia. "  A mio avviso
l'importante è che una quota rilevante sia in mano italiana, altrimenti
nascerà in Italia una seconda piattaforma digitale, e Mediaset deciderà con
chi stare". Galliani vede la concorrenza entro le TV generaliset e le
pay-TV piuttosto nel campo dell'acquisizione dei diritti sportivi. Nei
primi anni 80 i diritti in chiaro del campionato di calcio italiano
rendevano a Lega Calcio circa tre miliardi a stagione. Oggi valgono
duecento miliardi. "L'arrivo del digitale non farà che accelerare questa
Il amministratore delegato della Mediaset ha detto che in questo momento in
Italia ci sono circa 140mila abbonati al digitale e raggiungeranno quota
200-250mila entro fine anno. Telepiù ha raccolto circa 60mila abbonamenti
"stagionali" al calcio. Tra un mese offrirà singole partite in
pay-per-view(ppv) a un prezzo tra le 15 e le 20mila lire l'una. Dal 1°
luglio del 1999, è probabile che i diritti televisivi saranno  ceduti dai
singoli club e non da un unico ente. 

- The director general of RAI, Franco Iseppi has said that if there is to
be one Italian digital platform, 106 million DM will be reserved in next
years budget for the development of digital TV services. If however there
were to be two digital platforms, the sum would be 80 million-DM because
there would then be no need to buy a stake in Telepiù.
- According to rumors, the channels TMC and TMC2 are soon set to join RAI's
bouquet on the HOT BIRD 2 satellite and will be transmitted in the clear.
Currently they can be found in Telepiù's D+ bouquet but are scrambled.
- Telepiù is seriously considering the possibility of offering one or more
soft core and hard core porn channels as part of its digital bouquet D+. 
- A new RAI thematic channel has started broadcasting as part of RAI's
digital bouquet. Here are the technical details for receiving RaiSat
Nettuno: frequency 11.804 GHz/Ver, symbol rate 27.500, FEC 2/3. 

(All times Central European)

RAI UNO, 20:45h - Mamma per caso - final part (Italy-1997), starring:
Raffaela Carra
RAI DUE, 20:50h - Pasolini - un delitto italiano (Italy-1995), starring;
Carlo de Filippi, Nicoletta Braschi
RAI DUE, 00:05h - Teorema (Italy-1968), starring: Silvana Mangano
RAI UNO, 20:50h - On deadly ground (USA-1994), starring: Steven Seagal,
Michael Caine
RAI DUE, 00:35h - Legge della giungla (USA-1995), starring: Bruce Payne,
Hilary Swank
RAI UNO, 20:50h - Our son the matchmaker (USA-1990), starring: Ann Jillian,
Ellen Burstyn
RAI DUE, 00:35h - L'amico imaginario (Italy-1994), starring: Victor
Cavallo, Valeria d'Obici
RAI TRE, 20:40h - Falling down (USA-1993), starring: Michael Douglas,
Robert Duvall
RAI DUE, 20:50h - Criminal passion (USA-1995), starring: Joanna Cassidy,
Brooke Langton
RAI UNO, 22:50h - La traviata (Italy-1983), starring: Placido Domingo,
Teresa Stratas
RAI DUE, 20:50h - A killer among friends (USA-1993), starring: Patty Duke,
Tiffany Amber-Thiessen
RAI UNO, 00:35h - Sarafina! (USA-1992), starring: Whoopi Goldberg
RAI DUE, 00:45h - Quattro irresistibili brontoloni (USA-1995)

Note:	All movies transmitted in the prime time slot are subtitled on RAI's
teletext pages 777 (Italian) and 778 (English)

RAI DUE/RAI TRE, 16:30h - Athletics: New York Marathon
RAI DUE, 19:00h - Basketball: Italian league - live - 
RAI UNO, 20:50h - Football: UEFA Cup, LYON-INTER MILAN
RAI TRE, 16:30h - Volleyball (women): Italian league, BIG POWER
RAI TRE, 15:25h - Volleyball (men): Italian league, JUCKER PETRARCA
RAI TRE, 00:05h - Boxing: WBU world title fight (superfly), Luigi
Castaglione-Abbey Mnisi

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