SAT-ITALY 13.03.1998

SAT-ITALY - EDITION 11/98 - March  13th 1998 -
Italian Satellite and Media news/Notizie della TV via satellite in Italia 
Branislav Pekic - bpekic@yahoo.com

As is already well known, the Italian public broadcaster RAI has ambitious
plans in the digital TV sector. One of the major issues facing RAI in this
field is finding an adequate partner who would be interested in investing
into programming for the new digital channels and into various other
multimedia services. Much depends on the result of the ongoing talks on a
single Italian digital platform because it could provide RAI the basis for
developing a role as a content provider (including pay-TV channels). 
The majority shareholder of Telepiù, Canal Plus is anxiously awaiting a
positive sign from the new management of RAI. However, in recent weeks two
of the Italian companies participating in the negotiations, Telecom Italia
and Mediaset, have made it known that they prefer other partners to Canal
Plus such as TF1 and Kirch. The top managers at RAI will have to evaluate
every option, especially from the financial aspect, and decide whether to
join Telepiù or form an alternative digital platform with other partners. 
- La RAI ha bisogno di trovare partner con i quali investire nella
creazione dei contenuti per la televisione digitale e per la
multimedialità. L'accordo per la piattaforma poteva costituire una delle
basi per sviluppare il ruolo di fornitore di contenuti (anche di prodotti a
pagamento), da parte dell'azienda radiotelevisiva pubblica. Adesso,
l'intesa appare più lontana perchè Telecom Italia e anche Mediaset,
sembrano preferire partner diversi da Canal Plus, come TF1 o Kirch. In ogni
caso, la Rai deve fare i conti su quanto costerà entrare in Telepiù e in

The undersecretary at the Ministry of posts and telecommunications,
Vincenzo Vita has said that all the parties in the digital talks must press
on for a prompt conclusion. Vita issued this statement following a meeting
with top RAI managers and also expressed his concern that both RAI and
Telecom Italia have been expressing reserves on such a deal. The president
of RAI, Roberto Zaccaria informed Vita that both public companies are
currently holding separate talks on the questions of a single digital
platform and the new joint venture NewCo that should be constituted soon.
In a separate development, the CEO of Telepiù, Mario Rasini confirmed that
negotiations on a single digital platform are proceeding at a snail's pace,
although the technical experts have concluded the preliminary phase. Rasini
added that he is optimistic on the success of the negotiations despite
statements to the contrary by "those who try to use this period of
stagnation in the talks".
- Al termine di un incontro con il nuovo cda della RAI, il sottosegretario
alle comunicazioni, Vincenzo Vita, ha affermato che bisognerà imprimere
un'accelerazione alla piattaforma digitale. Il presidente della tv
pubblica, Roberto Zaccaria, ha sottolineato che tra RAI e Telecom Italia
sono in corso contatti informali sulla questione della piattaforma digitale
e della nuova società che dovrà essere costituita dalle due aziende, la
NewCo. Intanto, l'amministratore delegato di Telepiù, Mario Rasini, ha
confermato che "la trattativa sulla piattaforma digitale è ad una vigilia
di attività", mentre i tecnici delle aziende hanno concluso il lavoro

Successful experiments have recently been conducted in France and the U.K.
which involved the distribution of movies directly to the cinemas via data
networks, instead of rolls of film which has up till now been the preferred
option. This has prompted the European Commission to come up with a special
project called "Cyber Cinema" which will be developed by the Aerospatiale
laboratories. The project will see the complete digitalization of movies
and they will then be transmitted via satellite to cinemas all over Europe.
The major advantages of this new technology are an increased efficiency in
distribution and a significant reduction of costs due to the elimination of
transport costs. Many leading European companies such as Philips,
Hewlett-Packard, Pathe and Deutsche Telekom are involved in the project.
The experimental phase of the project will debut in June and will involve
Italy, Ireland, France, Germany and Belgium.
- La Commissione Europea ha varato il progetto "Cyber Cinema" affidato allo
sviluppo dei laboratori Aerospatiale. Il progetto prevede la
digitalizzazione delle pellicole e l'invio dei film alle sale europee
attraverso il satellite. I benefici per il pubblico saranno una maggiore
efficienza distributiva e riduzione dei costi dovuti all'eliminazione dei
trasporti. Al progetto partecipano molte aziende, tra cui Philips,
Hewlett-Packard, Pathe', Deutsche Telekom. La sperimentazione iniziera'
gia' a giugno e riguardera' anche l'Italia.

The president of RAI, Roberto Zaccaria recently announced that RAI Tre,
which is set to become an advertising-free channel, would continue airing
advertisements for still some time after the final date for its
transformation. The Italian public broadcaster will have to present its
suggestions for the future of its 3rd TV channel to the Telecommunications
Authority by April 30th. 
The president of the Parliamentary Commission which overseas RAI's
activities, Francesco Storace proposed that RAI Tre becomes a children's
channel. He added that such a channel should show not only cartoons but
also special news bulletins prepared for younger viewers, educational
programming as well as offering additional material via the Internet.
However, media analysts feel that this suggestion will receive a cool
response from RAI's new management.
- Il presidente della RAI, Roberto Zaccaria, ha dichiarato alla commissione
di vigilanza che la  terza rete definita dal progetto Rai, fino
all'attuazione dell'antitrust, manterrà la pubblicità (nazionale). La nuova
RAI Tre, andrebbe dedicata interamente ai bambini. A proporlo è Francesco
Storace, An, presidente della commissione parlamentare di Vigilanza sulla
RAI. Il palinsesto, dovrebbe essere molto accurato e vario -  non solo
cartoni animati,  ma anche notiziari, Internet e suggerimenti su come
studiare. La sensazione, però, è che la proposta verrà accolta con scarso
entusiasmo nel nuovo consiglio d'amministrazione della RAI. 

The Saudi Arabian prince and businessman Al Waleed who owns a 2,6% stake in
the private TV holding company Mediaset has expressed his support for an
eventual deal with the media mogul Rupert Murdoch. In an interview to the
Italian weekly "Il Mondo", Al Waleed said that a Murdoch-Mediaset alliance
would "make sense" because they could cooperate in many fields such as
media, telecommunications and satellite-TV. He added that Mediaset is still
too much concentrated on the Italian market and need's to expand beyond
Italy's frontiers.  The Saudi-born businessman also holds a minority stake
in Rupert Murdoch's company News Corporation.
- In una intervista che appare sul settimanale "Il Mondo", il principe e
finanziere saudita Al Waleed che controlla il 2,6% di Mediaset ha ammesso
che "un collegamento tra Mediaset e il gruppo Murdoch avrebbe sicuramente
senso. Mediaset è ancora troppo concentrata sul mercato italiano, ha
bisogno di espandersi e crescere al di fuori dell'Italia". Al Waleed è
convinto che con i due gruppi uniti "si potrebbero fare tantissime cose nei
media, nelle telecomunicazioni e nei satelliti".

- Cartoon Network Italia has surprisingly appeared on the SIRIUS 2
satelllite (5 degrees East). The channel, which is transmitted as part of
Telepiù's bouquet via the 13 degrees East position, can be found on the
frequency 12,380 GHz/Hor. The PID's for the channel are 0744 (1860) and
071C (1820).
- The Italian publishing group L'Espresso has bought it's third radio
station, Italia Radio from another publishing group, Rosabella. The cost of
the takeover is estimated at around 6-7 million DM. The L'Espresso group
already owns the private radio networks Radio Dee Jay and Radio Capital. 
- RAI International has started transmitting in digital MPEG to Southern
Africa via the PANAMSAT PAS-4 satellite located at 68 degrees East. The
frequency is 12,664 GHz/Ver.
- As predicted, the Rumanian digital channel Acasa TV has stopped
transmitting live Italian league football on Sunday afternoons. Instead, an
Italian league match is transmitted delayed by one hour.
- Here is a list of upcoming Italian football league games which will be
transmitted live by Telepiu Nero channel (look out for possible feeds):
Piacenza-Udinese (March 15th), Milan-Inter (March 22nd), Juventus-Milan
(March 29th) and Lazio-Juventus (April 15th). All kick-off times are at
20:30 CET.

(All times Central European)
RAI UNO, 20:45h - La piovra 9 - Il patto - Part I (Italy 1997), starring:
Raoul Bova, Anja Kling
RAI DUE, 20:50h - Piedone lo sbirro (Italy-1973), starring: Bud Spencer,
Adalberto Maria Merli
RAI TRE, 00:35h - The days (China-1993), starring: Liu Kiaodong
RAI UNO, 20:50h - La piovra 9 - Il patto - Part II (Italy-1997), starring:
Raoul Bova, Anja Kling
RAI DUE, 23:00h - Cyclo (Vietnam/France-1995), starring: Le Van Loc, Tony
Leun-Chiu Way
RAI UNO, 20:50h - Nei sogni di Sarah (USA), starring; Gerald McRaney, Kathy
RAI TRE, 20:50h - Hard to kill (USA-1990), starring: Steven Seagal, Kelly
le Brock
RAI DUE, 00:35h - Destroyer (USA-1943), starring: Edward G.Robinson, Glenn
RAI DUE, 20:50h - Night eyes 4 (USA-1995), starring: Paula Barbieri, Andrew
RAI UNO, 00:35h - Tutti i giorni e domenica (Italy/France-1994), starring:
Maurizio Nichetti, Rod Steiger
RAI DUE, 00:35h - The naked truth (U.K.-1957), starring: Peter Sellers,
Peggy Mount

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

RAI TRE, 08:50h - Alpine skiing: World Cup, special slalom for men, I run
RAI TRE, 09:45h - Alpine skiing: World Cup, medley women and men 
RAI TRE, 09:50h - Alpine skiing: World Cup, super G for women, I run
RAI TRE, 11:25h - Alpine skiing: World Cup, special slalom for men, II run
RAI TRE, 12:25h - Alpine skiing: World Cup, super G for women, II run
RAI DUE, 19:00h - Basketball: Italian league
RAI UNO, 20:25h - Football: UEFA Cup, Schalke 04-Inter
RAI TRE, 15:40h - Volleyball (women): Italian league, Roma-Reggio Emilia
RAI TRE, 16:15h - Basketball: Italian league
RAI TRE, 17:00h - Athletics: World cross championships (Marrakesh)
RAI TRE, 17:30h - Volleyball: Italian league

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