SAT-ITALY 05.12.1997

SAT-ITALY - EDITION 45/97 - December 5th 1997 -
Italian Satellite and Media news edited by Branislav Pekic

According to some sources, the agreement for a single Italian digital
platform is ready for signing, after some corrections were made to it, on
request of RAI's administrative council.  The text of the agreement should
become definitive by December 15th, but if by this date it is not signed by
the parties (and if there is no postponement), it will become null and
void.  The memorandum of understanding among the major Italian media
companies was signed on November 6th in Rome, after a deal was reached on
October 30th in Milan.
If everything is OK, the deal will still have to be examined in detail by
the EU Antitrust authorities, which recently did not look favourably on the
German digital deal backed by Deutsche Telekom, Bertelsmann and Kirch.
This week, the administrative council of RAI also started discussing other
aspects of the digital deal. It seems that the public broadcaster wants an
equal opportunity in respect to pay-TV network Telepiù, in offering
programs and channels (including premium movies and sports, pay-per-view)
within the single Italian digital platform. This would all be in the
interest of NewCo, a company formed by RAI (80%) and Telecom Italia (20%)
for supplying contents for digital TV services, but it still remains to be
seen who will be chosen to head the company. Another sticky question is who
will operate the dozen or so thematic channels marketed by Stream, in which
RAI has a 20% stake but is in charge of editorial policy.
There is still some uncertainty at RAI and Telecom Italia about the quota
reserved for them in Telepiù which will remain under the control of Canal
Plus. That is because by entering as shareholders, RAI and Telecom Italia
would also inherit part of Telepiù's accumulated debts for launching
terrestrial and digital pay-TV services.
- Secondo indiscrezioni, il testo dell' accordo sulla piattaforma digitale
rivisto sarebbe pronto. Per trasformarlo in accordo definitivo c'è tempo
fino al 15 dicembre, ma se entro questa data, o entro un'altra eventuale
proroga concordata, gli accordi non verranno formalizzati, le parti saranno
sciolte da qualsiasi impegno. Poi vi sarà l'esame dell'Antitrust. 
Questa settimana il consiglio di amministrazione della RAI ha cominciato a
discutere il testo dell'intesa, che dà a RAI e Telecom "pari opportunità"
rispetto a Telepiù per quanto riguarda i contenuti e ai servizi da offrire
alla piattaforma digitale via satellite e via cavo. Inoltre, sussitono
perplessità in Telecom Italia e RAI a proposito della quota azionaria a
essi riservata in Telepiù, perchè le due aziende italiane dovranno farsi
carico, in quota parte, dell'indebitamento accumulato da Telepiù per
lanciare prima la pay tv terrestre e poi quella satellitare. 

The Italian news agency Ansa has decided to expand its services in the
multimedia business. Recently, it has started an experimental service which
offers the latest Italian and world news 24 hours a day to owners of GSM
mobile phones subscribed to Telecom Italia's TIM network. At the end of
last month, Ansa became the principal news provider for the new teletext
service of the private TV network  Mediaset which owns the Canale 5, Italia
1 and Rete 4 channels.
Ansa has already it's own TV service which is in charge of producing the
Italian bulletins for the business channel Bloomberg TV which is
distributed in Italy via the Telepiù D+ package. The staff of the TV
service is set to increase, due to the fact that in the next few months,
the news segment produced by Ansa will increase from the current 8 hours
(includes a morning, afternoon and evening edition) to 24 hours.
Talks are currently underway with some private TV stations which, if
succesfull, could see Ansa becoming the provider for news bulletins.
Finally, by the beginning of 1998, Ansa will also relaunch it's Web site
(http://www.ansa.it) by adding more links to news items as well as more
daily updates.
- L'agenzia Ansa esplora la multimedialità. Dal fine di novembre, Ansa
fornisce notizie per il nuovo servizio televideo delle reti Mediaset. La
redazione TV di Ansa che produce i TG italiani della Bloomberg (distribuiti
in Italia dal bouquet Telepiù D+) sta per essere potenziata. Tra qualche
mese, la programmazione curata dall'Ansa, passerà dalle attuali 8 ore a
coprire tutto l'arco delle 24 ore. Anche il sito Internet dell'agenzia
verrà riorganizzato entro i primi mesi del 1998.

According to a recent survey conducted by Italmedia, U.S. produced
programming still dominates on the principal Italian TV channels. During
the year 1996, the public broadcaster RAI transmitted 3,186 hours of
fiction (TV series, mini-series and films) which equals 12,2% of the total
program schedule, but only 442 hours were produced in Italy. In the same
period, the 3 Mediaset channels transmitted 8,907 hours of fiction
programming, out of which 442 hours were devoted to Italian productions.
The overwhelming majority of TV fiction carries the label "Made in the
U.S.A". On the 3 RAI channels the percentage amounts to 66,7% while on the
rival Mediaset channels it reaches an impressive 91,9%.
However, it seems that the Italian broadcasters have realized the
neccessity for investing into local programming.  According to Riccardo
Tozzi who is in charge of TV productions at Mediaset, his company has
invested 200 million DM this year into the production of TV series and
movies which is an increase of 50% compared to 1996. During this year, RAI
has invested 190 million DM for the filming of 139 films and TV series (in
comparison to 67 in 1996).
Another survey by Eurofiction, has shown that with 221 hours of new locally
produced fiction programs, Italy is located at the bottom of the European
league table. The leader is Germany with 1,689 hours, followed by the
United Kingdom (1,058 hours), France (690 hours) and Spain (459 hours).
- Secondo il rapporto Italmedia, nel 1996, la RAI ha trasmesso 3,186 ore di
fiction TV (180 ore di nazionalità italiana) e le reti Mediaset 8,907 ore
(442 di produzione nazionale). La maggior parte della fiction TV è
americana - 66,7% la RAI, 91,9% Mediaset. Comunque l'industria italiana di
fiction TV è in crescita. Nel 1997, la RAI ha investito nella fiction
italiana circa 190 miliardi di lire e Mediaset  200 miliardi di lire.

The major Italian TV broadcasters have agreed to institute a 10 point code
of conduct whose aim is to protect children from violence on television.
The agreement was signed in Rome by Enzo Siciliano, president of RAI,
Fedele Confalonieri, president of Mediaset and Biagio Agnes, president of
Cecchi Gori Communications, among others.
A special committee will be formed which will be responsible for the
application of the code and it will have ample powers to intervene and
block programs on TV channels. The code is valid for programmes transmitted
throughout the day, from 07:00-22:30, but special attention will be given
to programs, news items and advertising transmitted during the time slot
16:00-19:00. News bulletins will also have to keep in mind not to transmit
violent images or pictures of a sexual nature not necessary for the
comprehension of a news item. There will also be a special news segment for
children and TV stations will be forbidden from showing children involved
in criminal acts. The new committee will give special attention to movies,
mini-series and TV series.  
- E' stato sottoscritto un codice di autoregolamentazione dai protagonisti
della televisione italiana (RAI, Mediaset, TMC). L'applicazione ed il
controllo saranno affidati ad un comitato con ampi poteri di intervento
sulla programmazione delle reti. Le indicazioni verranno per tutto l'arco
della giornata, dalle 7 alle 22,30, ma sara' in particolare dalle 16 alle
19 che la televisione sara' chiamata a rispettare regole severe che
riguardano i programmi, l'informazione e la pubblicita'. Film, telefilm e
fiction in generale saranno soggetti alla vigilanza di un comitato di

It seems that the recent introduction of the new service Telepiù Calcio
Gold has not provoked a major increase in subscriptions as expected. This
new service is offered to viewers who are already subscribed to the Telepiù
Calcio package who can now, beside watching all the league games of their
favourite football team, choose to also watch simoultaneously all the other
league matches being played.
However, instead of asking existing Telepiù Calcio subscribers to pay a
nominal fee for the "Gold" option, Telepiù has been asking an additional
600 DM for the new service, which has proven too much even for the most
die-hard football fans. 
-- Fino a oggi, il nuovo servizio Telepiù Calcio Gold si è mostrato una
grande delusione. Questo nuovo servizio, offre agli abbonati a Telepiù
Calcio di richiedere il servizio a pagamento "Gold" che permette di vedere
tutte le partite del campionato, in diretta e in simultanea. Ma, invece di
chiedere una cifra modesta per integrare all' abbonamento per Telepiù
Calcio, la pay-TV chiede la incredibile cifra di 600.000 lire in più  per
chi ha già l'abbonamento per tutte le gare della sua squadra di cuore. 

- Details have been released concerning the performance of the 6 major
Italian TV channels during the prime-time slot in 1997. The audience share
is as follows: RAI Uno 24,2% (+ 0,2), Canale 5 21,9% (-0,2), RAI Due 15,6%
(+0,8), Italia 1 11% (-0,6), RAI Tre 9,5% (-1,5) and Rete 4 8,3%.
- As has now become tradition (remember TGRT!), the joy of watching live
Italian league football did not last long. Last week we reported on the
Croatian HRT 3 channel showing a live game in clear MPEG-2. Unfortunately,
the past Sunday, the Milan-Juventus game was not transmitted live at 20:30
hours but was shown only at 22:15 hours. 
- The undersecretary at the Italian Ministry for posts and
telecommunications, Vincenzo Vita said that in less than 10 years, digital
technology will be as widely available as analog and all Italian TV
stations will broadcast via satellite.

(All times Central European)

RAI UNO, 20:50h - Die Troublemaker (Germany-1994), starring: Terence Hill,
Bud Spencer
RAI DUE, 00:05h - La Boheme (Italy-1898), starring: Barbara Hendricks, Luca
RAI UNO, 20:50h - Iron Will (USA-1993), starring:  Mackenzie Astin, Kevin
RAI DUE, 00:50h - Scontro finale (USA-1989), starring: Ian Jackin, Martin Kove
RAI DUE, 20:50h - Homeward bound (USA-1992), starring: Kim Greist, Robert Hays
RAI UNO, 22:55h - Lo svitato (Italy-1955), starring: Dario Fo, Franca Rame
RAI DUE, 00:55h - The desert song (USA-1944), starring: Dennis Morgan
RAI UNO, 20:50h - Dead silence (USA-1991), starring: Renee Estevez, Carrie
RAI DUE, 00:35h - Killer instinct (USA), starring: Robert Patrick, Lydie
RAI TRE, 20:50h - Stakeout 2 (USA-1993), starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Emilio
Estevez, Rosie O'Donnell
RAI UNO, 22:50h - Il profumo dalla papaya verde (France-1993), starring:
Tran Nu Yen Khe
RAI DUE, 20:50h - Blutige spur (Germany-1995), starring: Jan Niklas
RAI UNO, 00:35h - Carmen on ice (Germany-1992), starring: Katarina Witt

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

RAI DUE, 19:00h - Basketball: Italian league
RAI UNO, 20:40h - Football: UEFA Cup, Inter-Strasbourg
RAI TRE, 15:25h - Table tennis: European league (men) - live from Bolzano
RAI TRE, 17:30h - Volleyball: Italian league

RAI TRE, 22:55h - Special: Frank Sinatra

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