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Green light for Sky Italia’s DTT plans -
Green light for Sky Italia’s DTT plans
Published: 08.19 UTC, March 2, 2011 by Robert Briel
The Italian State Council has ruled that News Corp’s Sky Italia can take part in the tender for DTT frequencies in Italy. The government had tried to stop the broadcaster from obtaining terrestrial frequencies.
In July 2010 the European Commission accepted plans for Sky Italia to bid for digital terrestrial capacity, but on the pre-condition that it is restricted to free-to-air broadcasts until 2015. Following this verdict, the Italian Communications Authority (AgCom) agreed to Sky’s participation, but the Berlusconi-led government tried to stop it.
Sky would compete head on with Berlusconi’s Mediaset, who owns the three major private networks in the country, Canale 5, Italia Uno and Rete 4. With the ruling of the State Council, the tender of the terrestrial capacity can now go ahead after earlier delays.
The Italian TV market is one of the most competitive in Europe, with premium TV provider Dahlia TV ceasing operations after talks failed to prolong the life of the Italian DTT operation.
There are a total of 21 multiplexes available in the country, of which 16 have already been awarded. At the moment, public broadcaster RAI and private broadcasters Mediaset and Telecom Italia have a total of 11 muxes. The remaining five are held by regional and local broadcasters.