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SAT-ITALY 20.02.1998




SAT-ITALY - EDITION 8/98 - February 20th 1998 -
Italian Satellite and Media news edited by Branislav Pekic


THE HAPPY CHANNEL
The Happy Channel is the name of the first thematic satellite channel
produced by the largest Italian private TV network Mediaset. The new
channel is set to launch on March 8th and will form part of Telepiù's
digital package transmitted via the 13 degrees East orbital position. As it
name says, the program schedule will be made up of comedy series and movies
from Mediaset's huge program archives. Besides bought-in programs, the
Happy Channel will produce some of it's own programs. This is only the
first of several new thematic channels planned by Mediaset and which are
expected to launch in 1999. Among them are children's channel as well as
two movie channels (an action and adventure channel and a mystery and
thriller channel).
- Il primo dei canali tematici satellitari digitali realizzati dal gruppo
televisivo Mediaset andrà in onda a partire dall'8 marzo. Si chiama "Happy
Channel" ed è tutto dedicato alla comicità d'autore, dal cabaret, al
musical, alle commedie brillanti fino ai personaggi "cult" stranieri e
italiani. Il canale "del sorriso" verrà inserito nel pacchetto di base di
D+ la piattaforma digitale di Telepiù. In casa Mediaset, inoltre, si
prevedono grosse novità per l'anno 1999. Sono altri tre canali tematici "al
vaglio" e riguardano i Bambini, più "generi cinematografici" come Azione e
Avventura, Giallo e Thriller.


MILLION SUBSCRIBERS FOR TELEPIÙ
According to official figures, the number of subscribers to the Italian
pay-TV network Telepiù has reached 1,100,000. Out of this figure, 892,000
are subscribed to the Telepiù premium channels. The analogue terrestrial
service, which offers the Tele+ Bianco and Tele+Nero channels, has 715,264
subscribers, while the digital satellite service (which also includes the
Tele+ Grigio and Tele+ 16:9 channels) has 177,514 subscribers. In addition,
there are another 206,000 subscribers to other program packages from
Telepiù (Telepiùcalcio, Formula 1, and basic package). According to
Telepiù, there are 956,818 installed satellite receivers in Italy, out of
which 239,225 are digital boxes. Finally, it has been announced that the
Italian version of the Disney Channel will not start at Easter as
previously announced, but at the end of September.
- Gli abbonati di Telepiù, hanno superato il milione e centomila. Di
questi, sono 892mila i sottoscrittori di un abbonamento ai canali premium
del gruppo (715.264 in analogico e 177.514 in digitale) e cioè Tele+bianco
e Tele+nero, ai quali, in digitale, si uniscono Tele+grigio e Tele+ in
formato 16:9 (sedici noni). Vi sono poi oltre 206mila abbonati agli altri
prodotti (Telepiùcalcio, Formula 1, Basic package). I decodificatori
installati fino a oggi in Italia, secondo Telepiù, sono 956.818, di cui
quelli digitali sono quasi 240mila (239.225). Il Disney Channel, arriverà a
fine settembre.


STREAM BOUQUET ON SATELLITE
The multimedia subsidiary of Telecom Italia, Stream, has announced that it
will launch it's own bouquet of digital channels via satellite from the
coming month of May. The bouquet, which is currently available only via
cable, will be transmitted on the EUTELSAT HOT BIRD transponders leased by
Stream. Among the channels offered will be foreign channels CNBC, CNN,
Eurosport, Euronews, Cartoon Network and the Discovery Channel as well as
the Italian channels TVL, Il Canale Viaggi, Digital Shopping Network,
Universal Italia and Team-TV (it will show programs produced by 12 local TV
stations). For reception of Stream's bouquet, a digital receiver with an
Irdeto CAM will be necessary.
- La società multimediale del gruppo Telecom, Stream, ha deciso di partire
a maggio prossimo con il suo bouquet a pagamento, attualmente distribuito
esclusivamente via cavo. All'interno del bouquet che sarà trasmesso
attraverso gli satelliti EUTELSAT HOT BIRD, ci saranno CNBC, CNN,
Eurosport, Euronews, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, Euronews, TVL, il
Canale Viaggi, Digital Shopping, Team TV e Universal Italia. Per ricevere i
canali di Stream si potranno utilizzare i ricevitori con CAM Irdeto.




RAI INTERNATIONAL COMES TO AFRICA
As of March 2nd, the RAI International TV channel will for the first time
cover with its signal the African continent. The international service of
the Italian state broadcaster was launched back in 1995 and currently
operates two TV and one radio channel. Up till now the TV service has been
available in North and South America and Australia (where it is a pay-TV
channel), while the second TV channel which is free of charge is
transmitted to Asia and the Pacific region. A new program schedule is about
to take effect and among the highlights are "Opera Club", "Squisito
"(devoted to Italian cuisine,)" Ciao bella (a fashion magazine), "Na voce
Na chitarra" (folk music from Naples) and" Saluti dall' Italia"
(correspondance from viewers). It has also been decided to subtitle 5 news
bulletins daily in English and Spanish. According to the director general
of RAI International, Roberto Morrione, during the last year they produced
1,600 hours of original TV programming (10% of the total programs aired).
The budget of the service amounts to 110 million DM, out of which 68
million is financed by the Italian government while the remaining 48% is
financed by RAI.
- Dal 2 marzo RAI International trasmetterà via satellite anche in
Sudafrica e nei Paesi confinanti. Lo ha annunciato il direttore Roberto
Morrione, presentando con il nuovo palinsesto: tra le novità, i sottotitoli
in inglese e spagnolo per i tg. Si allargherà il già ricco bacino di utenza
della rete, che fornisce due canali tivù di 24 ore al giorno: uno a
pagamento per il Canada, le Americhe e l'Australia, l'altro "in chiaro" per
l'Asia e il Pacifico. "Rai-International però", ha sottolineato il
direttore Roberto Morrione, "produce il 10% di quello che trasmette in tv".
E sono già partiti programmi nuovi destinati soprattutto a promuovere
l'Italia: 
Simona Marchini condurrà "Opera club", un rotocalco sul melodramma;
"Squisito" si occuperà delle nostre specialità gastronomiche; ci sarà "Ciao
bella", magazine di moda e costume condotto da Arianna Marchetti, Roberto
Murolo sarà protagonista di "Na voce Na chitarra", una storia della canzone
napoletana e.Renzo Arbore curerà una rubrica domenicale di corrispondenza:
"Saluti dall'Italia". 


DIGITAL TALKS CLOSE TO COLLAPSING
There are increasing signs that the ongoing talks between Canal Plus,
Mediaset, RAI, Telecom Italia and Cecchi Group on a single Italian digital
platform are set to end in failure to reach a deal. It seems that both
Telecom Italia and RAI have abandoned the idea of reaching a deal "at any
price" and are instead already working on developing a joint digital
platform to rival the one already existing around Telepiù. Last year,
launched 4 thematic satellite channels and is preparing to launch three
more this year. Stream whose majority shareholder is Telecom Italia and in
which RAI has a minority stake has already announced it is to launch it's
own digital bouquet of channels in May via the EUTELSAT HOT BIRD satellites.
- La trattativa per arrivare a un accordo per una piattaforma comune tra
Canal Plus, Mediaset, RAI, Telecom Italia e gruppo Cecchi Gori è a una
svolta: Telecom Italia e RAI potrebbero abbandonare l'idea dell'accordo a
ogni costo con i francesi e prepararsi a sviluppare insieme una piattaforma
digitale autonoma e alternativa. Il possibile abbandono dell'accordo sembra
rafforzato dalla notizia che la Stream ha deciso di creare un proprio
pacchetto di canali televisivi, da mandare sul satellite entro l'estate
oltre che sul cavo, in diretta concorrenza con Telepiù. 


NEWS IN BRIEF
- Live and unscrambled Italian league football is available once again to
satellite dish owners. Every Sunday at 15:00 CET, the new Rumanian channel
Acasa TV shows one of the most interesting games. The technical details are
as follows: EUTELSAT HOT BIRD (13 degrees East), frequency 12,207 GHz/Hor,
Symbol rate 5632, FEC 7/8, PID Video 1160 and PID Audio 1120. The only
question is how many more games are we to enjoy before Telepiù steps in and
breaks up the fun (remember DSF, TGRT and HRT 3?).
- New sightings on the HOT BIRD satellites. A Telepiù D+ promo channel has
been noted in the clear on the frequency 12,466 GHz/Ver (Symbol rate 27500,
FEC ). This is in fact only temporary because Canal Plus France will use
this frequency to relay a pay-TV package for its overseas territory of
Reunion. The frequency 12,341 GHz/Ver has recently been activated and it
will be probably used for the Formula 1 service and by several Italian
radio stations (Radio Capital, Radio DJ, Radio Radicale and Radio
Dimensione Suono). 


PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS ON RAI TV CHANNELS FOR WEEK FEBRUARY 22-28
(All times Central European)
MOVIES
22.02
RAI UNO, 20:45h - The power of one (USA-1992), starring: Stephen Dorff,
Morgan Freeman
RAI DUE, 20:50h - Diamond run (USA-1996), starring: Lynda Lyoka, Michael J.
Valentine
RAI DUE, 00:05h - Mario, Maria e Mario (Italy-1993), starring; Giulio
Scarpati, Valeria Cavalli
23.02
RAI UNO, 20:50h - L'uomo delle stelle (Italy-1995), starring: Sergio
Castellitto, Tiziana Lodato
24.02
RAI DUE, 20:50h - Racket - Part I (Italy-1997), starring: Michele Placido,
Adriano Pappalardo
RAI TRE, 22:55h - Brain donors (USA-1992), starring: John Turturro, Mel Smith
25.02
RAI DUE, 20:50h - Racket - Part II (Italy-1997), starring: Michele Placido,
Adriano Pappalardo
26.02
RAI TRE, 20:30h - Di che segno sei? (Italy-1975), starring: Paolo Villagio
RAI DUE, 20:50h - Racket - Part III (Italy-1997), starring: Michele
Placido, Adriano Pappalardo
27.02
RAI TRE, 20:30h - The color of money (USA-1996), starring: Paul Newman, Tom
Cruise
RAI DUE, 20:50h - Racket - Part IV (Italy-1997), starring: Michele Placido,
Adriano Pappalardo
28.02
RAI TRE, 20:30h - JFK (USA-1991), starring: Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones,
Joe Pesci
RAI DUE, 20:50h - Living death (Germany-1996), starring: Susanne Uhlen,
Ursula Karven

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

SPORT 
22.02
RAI TRE, 05:25h - Winter Olympic Games (Nagano): Hockey on ice - final
RAI TRE, 10:00h - Winter Olympic Games (Nagano): Closing ceremony
RAI DUE, 19:00h - Basketball: Italian league
28.02
RAI TRE, 15:50h - Basketball (women): Italian cup - final
RAI TRE, 16:30h - Basketball: European championship qualifiers, ITALY-GEORGIA
RAI TRE, 17:30h - Volleyball: Italian league, CASA MODENA UNIBON-SISLEY
TREVISO


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