TS News - RAI To Launch Satellite Channels

TELE-satellit News, 9 September 1997

RAI To Launch Satellite Channels
  ROME, Italy, 97/09/09 (TS) -- From September 29th, RAI's three new
thematic channels are due to start broadcasting. They will be transmitted
via the Eutelsat Hot Bird 2 satellite (13 degrees East) on the frequency of
11.804 GHz/Ver. All three channels will be transmitted in the clear, ie.
will not be scrambled so that viewers all over Europe with the necessary
receiving equipment (a satellite dish, universal LNB and digital receiver)
will be able to tune in.

  According to estimates, there are around 80,000 households in Italy who
will be able to receive the channels from day one. There is a huge
potential audience since there are more than one million households with an
analog reception system who could upgrade to digital. The first three
thematic channels are to be called RaiSat 1, RaiSat 2 and RaiSat 3 and
during 1998 three more channels will be launched: RaiSat 4 (news), RaiSat 5
(sports) and RaiSat 6 (multi-ethnic service).

  RAI plans to invest around 100 billion lire (around 100 million DEM) to
launch the new services. The director of thematic channels, Carlo Sartori
is optimistic about the future of digital TV in Italy and thinks that RAI
should be in the forefront in this area. There will be no advertising on
the channels and since audience ratings will not matter, there will be a
lot of space for experimenting with programming The electronics company
Italtel will produce the digital satellite receivers (with two card
readers) needed to receive the RAISat channels. They will be sold under the
brand names Seleco Italtel Multimedia, Fracarro and Echostar.

  By: Branislav Pekic
(c)TELE-satellit 1997. All rights reserved.

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