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SAT-ITALY 19.06.1998




SAT-ITALY - EDITION 25/98 - June 19th 1998 
Italian Satellite and Media news/Notizie della TV via satellite in Italia 
edited by/editore Branislav Pekic (owner-sat-italy@tags1.dn.net)


RAI SEEKS FOREIGN PARNTERS FOR DIGITAL PLATFORM
In a recent interview to the Italian daily "Il Sole 24 Ore", the president
of the Italian public broadcaster RAI, Roberto Zaccaria laid out his
company's plans for the digital TV sector.
Zaccaria said that RAI and Telecom Italia are currently putting the final
touches on the financial and technical aspects of their joint digital TV
platform. He added that the partnership is ideal because RAI will be in
charge of the program content while Telecom Italia will be responsible for
the technological and commercial aspects of the venture. Commenting on the
recent launch of Stream's digital platform (owned 100% by Telecom Italia),
RAI's president said that this project is not co-ordinated within Telecom
Italia but he hopes that there will be some exchange of TV rights with Stream.
In regards to the project of a single Italian digital platform, Zaccaria
says he favours the EU stance on this question, i.e. a positive response to
the French and Spanish model and disapproval for the project of a single
German platform. He feels that the ability to chose between two digital
platforms is a fundamental factor in the telecommunications sector.
According to Zaccaria, RAI is very interested in finding partners for it's
digital platform, especially among fellow broadcasters. He underlined the
fact in May two separate agreements were signed with France Television and
Arte which follow hot on the heels of a similar agreement which was signed
at the beginning of April with the French private channel TF1.
Zaccaria also made it clear that RAI International, which is currently
state, financed is also searching for foreign partners.
________________________________________________________________
- In una recente intervista rilasciata al quotidiano "Il Sole 24 Ore", il
presidente della RAI, Roberto Zaccaria ha parlato sulla piattaforma
digitale commune con Telecom Italia.
"Stiamo lavorando a pieno ritmo con Telecom per mettere a punto tutti gli
aspetti del progetto, sia finanziari che tecnici. Con Telecom abbiamo delle
"convergenze parallele" perché siamo complementari: noi abbiamo la
vocazione di editori, loro quella tecnologica e commerciale". Sulla
questione della nuova piattaforma Stream, Zaccaria ha detto che  queste
nuove iniziative "sembrano non coordinate con Telecom" e che la TV pubblica
sta valutando passaggio alla RAI di determinati diritti di Stream. Ha
bocciato l'idea di una piattaforma comune italiana, perchè l'esistenza di
due offerte in concorrenza e la competizione sono dei fattori fondamentali
nel mondo delle telecomunicazioni. Il presidente Zaccaria ha confermato che
la RAI abbia già sottoscritto ai primi di maggio un'intesa con France
Television e un'altra con Arte, che seguono il memorandum d'intenti siglato
ai primi di aprile con TF 1. La TV pubblica sta cercando anche dei partner
o soci esterni per la RAI International. 


TELEPIÙ LAUNCHES DIGI BOUQUET
The competition on the Italian digital TV market is hotting up following
the recent launch of Stream's digital bouquet. The leading pay-TV operator
in Italy, Telepiù has now launched a new mini-bouquet of channels called
"Digi" which is slightly cheaper than the existing "Basic" package. The
"Digi" package is made up of the following channels: Planete
(documentaries), Cartoon Network, Marco Polo (travel and tourism), Happy
Channel (comedies and humour), Matchmusic (music videos and concerts),
Canal Jimmy (nostalgia) and Multimusica (20 thematic audio channels).  The
monthly subscription cost is around 25 DM and potential subscribers are
offered the possibility of leasing or buying the digital box. A promo
channel for the Telepiù Digi bouquet has started in analogue via EUTELSAT
HOT BIRD (13 degrees East), frequency 10,892 GHz/Hor.
During the course of this year, the number of subscribers to the Telepiù's
digital bouquet 
has increased by 10% and subscribers have especially been attracted by some
of the channels in the "premium" bouquet such as the +Calcio service. This
positive result may also contribute to a major increase in advertising
revenues for Telepiù, which are projected to reach 48 million-DM during 1998.
________________________________________________________________
- In consequenza dell' arrivo di nuova piattaforma digitale Stream, il
leader del settore Telepiù ha deciso di lanciare un nuovo mini-bouquet
chiamato "DIGI". Questo bouquet offre i seguenti canali: Planete, Cartoon
Network, Marco Polo, Happy Channel, Matchmusic, Canal Jimmy e Multimusica
(20 audio canali tematici). Il costo - 25,000 lire al mese. Per i decoder
digitale c'è l'opzione del noleggio o dell' acquisto. Il promo "Digi" si
può vedere in chiaro sul satellite EUTELSAT HOT BIRD (13 gradi Est),
frequenza 10,892 GHz/Hor.
Buone notizie per Telepiù - quest'anno gli abbonati stanno crescendo al
ritmo del 10%, con punte molto superiori per alcuni canali premium, come
per esempio +Calcio.  Anche le perspettive per la raccolta pubblicitaria
sono positive e i 48 miliardi di fatturato indicati come obiettivo per
quest'anno potrebbero essere superati.  


STREAM SCRAMBLES
The Italian digital operator Stream has officially scrambled its channels
in Irdeto from Monday June 15th. Also Stream has confirmed that the new
channels Universal Italia and Cult TV which are set to join the digital
bouquet in July will be scrambled from day one. The bouquet is currently
made up of 5 TV channels and 3 radio stations. A few days ago the 40 Music
Choice Europe audio channels were also activated. Experimental broadcasts
of the pay-per-view service Magic Movie have recently been noticed, but the
official launch of the service is expected in September. Stream's bouquet
will use two frequencies: transponder 11,885 GHz/Ver (Team-TV, Canale
Viaggi, Euronews, CNN, Digital Shopping Network and SNAI)
and 11,842 GHz/Ver (Universal Italia, Cult Italia, Cartoon Network, TVL,
Radio Rock, RDS, RTL 102.5 and Music Choice Europe). Both transponders have
a symbol rate of 27500 and FEC . 
________________________________________________________________
- L'operatore digitale italiano Stream ha codificato le proprie
trasmissioni in Irdeto il 15 giugno. Una altra brutta notizia è che i nuovi
canali Universal Italia e Cult TV partiranno da luglio ma direttamente
codificati. Il bouquet è composto di 5 canali TV (Canale Viaggi, Digital
Shopping Network, Team TV, Euronews e SNAI), le radio e anche i 40 canali
audio Music Choice Europe. Sono stati avvistati dei test del servizio
pay-per-view MagicMovie che parte officialmente a settembre. Il bouquet è
presente su due frequenze - 11,885 GHz/Ver (Team-TV, Canale Viaggi,
Euronews, CNN, Digital Shopping Network and SNAI) e 11,842 GHz/Ver
(Universal Italia, Cult Italia, Cartoon Network, TVL, Radio Rock, RDS, RTL
102.5 and Music Choice Europe). Il symbol rate (27500) e il FEC () sono
gli stessi. 


NEW ITALIAN SPORTS CHANNEL
The president of the Italian Olympic Committee Mario Pescante has given his
support for the launch of a new Italian sports channel which would transmit
"minor" sports which are not given enough space on existing TV channels. At
this moment it is unclear who would launch such a channel which would be
free-to-air, although the public broadcaster RAI is hard at work on it's
own sports channel which is set to launch this October. The Italian
minister for culture Walter Veltroni is also backing this initiative and
expressed his wish that the channel would be run by a consortium, which
could possibly include RAI and TMC.
________________________________________________________________
- Il presidente della CONI Pescante ha lanciato l'idea di un canale
satellitare in chiaro dedicato agli sport finora con poco o senza spazio
tivù. La RAI sta già lavorando al suo canal sportivo che dovrà essere
pronto a ottobre. Il vicepresidente del Consiglio Walter Veltroni ha
auspicato un consorzio televisivo a quattro, con la possibile
partecipazione di RAI e TMC. 


RAI REPORTS INCREASED REVENUES
The administrative council of the Italian state broadcaster has unanimously
approved the financial report for the year 1997 which shows net profits of
around 136 million DM compared to 97 million DM a year earlier. Revenues
have increased by 5,9% and total 4,467 million DM. The three RAI TV
channels have obtained similar ratings to those reported in 1996 (50%
during prime time and 48% overall). Positive ratings have also contributed
to a 7% increase in advertising revenues (1,690 million-DM) during this
year, which are set to increase by an additional 5% during 1999.
________________________________________________________________
- Il consiglio di amministrazione della RAI ha approvato all'unanimità il
bilancio 1997  che evidenzia un utile netto di 136 miliardi rispetto ai 97
miliardi del precedente esercizio. Il fatturato realizzato è ammontato a
4.467 miliardi con un aumento del 5,9% sul precedente esercizio. Le reti,
nell'ascolto, hanno mantenuto i risultati già raggiunti nel 1996 (circa il
50% nel prime time ed il 48% nell'intera giornata). L'andamento degli
ascolti ha agevolato gli introiti pubblicitari saliti dell' 6-7% in 1998 e
si prevede un incremento di fatturato del 5%  per l'anno 1999. 


NEWS IN BRIEF
- TMC is back once again on EUTELSAT II F3 (16 degrees East). Check out the
frequency 11,024 GHz/Hor and don't forget these technical parameters:
Symbol rate 6100, FEC 3/4, Video PID 4096 and Audio PID 4097. 
- RAI International has received many protests from viewers in North
America criticising the channel for not showing live coverage of the
matches of the Italian national team at the World Cup. The TV rights have
in fact been sold to the ESPN and ABC.


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