Sky Italia faces FTA rival
October 10, 2008

RAI, Mediaset and Telecom Italia Media are to launch a DTH satellite platform to support Italy’s burgeoning DTT sector. The public broadcaster RAI and the Berlusconi owned Mediaset will hold the lion’s share in Tivů with 48% each. Telecom Italia will take a minority stake of just 4%.

Two public facing brands will be used, Tivů and Tivů Sat, with the operation possibly on-air as early as March 2009. All three companies already hold capacity on the Eutelsat Hot Bird neighbourhood, the same satellite used by their principal competitor Sky Italia. Italian media is reporting Tivů has refused an initial offer from Eutelsat, but with 13 degrees East being the defacto slot for Italian satellite, the use of another position seems unlikely.

Although Tivů’s broadcasts will be offered free-to-air, a smart card will be required because of the issues surrounding sports and movie rights, with '''''' identified as the conditional access provider. '''''' is already used by Telecom Italia’s DTT pay package La7 CartaPiu. Mediaset also runs a DTT pay pack under the name Mediaset Premium.

(Source: Broadband TV News)