SAT-ITALY - EDITION 37/97 - October 10th 1997 -
Italian Satellite and Media news edited by Branislav Pekic
I am sorry for the delay in sending out this week's bulletin, but due to
technical problems at my Internet provider, I was not able to distribute it
as usual on Friday.
BERLUSCONI TO REDUCE MEDIASET STAKE
The Italian media mogul and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi plans
to reduce his stake in the private TV holding company Mediaset. This has
been confirmed by Fedele Confalonieri, president of Mediaset at a meeting
with financial analysts held on October 2nd in Milan. Berlusconi's company
Fininvest will reduce it's stake in Mediaset from 50% to 48% by June 1998,
which will also see several banks and financial companies increase their
stake. German media magnate Leo Kirch has also reduced his stake in
Mediaset from 5,6% to less than 2%. Confalonieri also stressed the fact
that after the new Telecomunications bill was approved by Parliament this
summer, the market quotation of Mediaset jumped more than 20%.
Analysts see this move by Berlusconi as a clever political move, which
seeks to alleviate any possible conflict of interest between his media
interests and political engagements.
Meanwhile, Confalonieri has embarked on a promotional tour to the United
States, Germany and the United Kingdom where he hopes to woo new potential
partners for Mediaset. The Italian TV holding company is also examining
with interest the South American and Eastern European TV market, where it
would like to repeat the success story with Telecinco in Spain. There is
also the possibility of investments in the private TV sector in the U.K. as
well as in mobile telephony in Italy.
- Il presidente della Mediaset Fedele Confalonieri, ha annunciato che la
Fininvest dovrebbe scendere dal 50% al 48% nella quota di controllo di
Mediaset entro giugno 1998. Dopo l'approvazione della legge sulla
emittenza, la quotazione in borsa della Mediaset è salita oltre il 20%. Il
presidente Confalonieri e partito per gli Stati Uniti, Germania e la Gran
Bretagna dove spera di trovare nuovi soci per Mediaset.
A special event, which will be televised by more than 80 TV stations all
over, the world is being prepared to celebrate these years World Food Day
organised by FAO. The event called "Telefood: Food for all" will take place
on October 19th. The Italian TV channels RAI Due and RAI International are
preparing an eight and half hour TV marathon, from 15:00-23.40 which will
include live links with more than 60 countries all over the world. The
whole event will end with a megaconcert at the Vatican where many famous
musicians will perform, among them: Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bolton, Jose
Carreras, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder and Barbra Streisand.
Besides music, during the live broadcast, viewers will be able to see
several initiatives prepared specially for the occasion such as: a football
match between a team made up of famous musicians and a team of famous
judges, special programs with famous personalities taking part (such as the
footballer Ronaldo and the writer Ken Follet).
The aim of Telefood'97 is to sensibilise the world public opinion in order
to gather funds for resolving problems regarding malnutrition in the world.
For more information about Telefood'97 check out the following Web site:
- "Telefood: Cibo per tutti" e una maratona televisiva voluta dalla FAO per
ricordare l'emergenza del cibo nel terzo mondo e servirà per raccogliere
fondi contro la denutrizione. Organizzato dalla FAO, da RAI Due e RAI
International, prevede otto ore e mezza di diretta TV (dalle 15:00 alle
23:40) il 19 ottobre. La culminazione sarà un grande concerto in Vaticano
con la partecipazione di: Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bolton, Jose Carreras,
Celine Dion e Stevie Wonder. Più informazioni sul sito web della FAO:
HIGHER TAXES ON SATELLITE EQUIPMENT
As of October 1st, the value-added tax (VAT) paid when buying new satellite
equipment has risen from 4 to 20%. This in fact means that the previous law
introduced at the end of July, which decreased the amount of VAT on digital
satellite equipment to 4%, is not valid any more. The VAT (from 4 to 10%)
has increased for subscriptions to pay-TV and cable services.
- Dal 1 ottobre, l'IVA sui nuovi impianti satellitari e decodificatori
digitali è salita dal 4 al 20% e sugli abbonamenti alle TV via cavo e via
satellite dal 4 al 10%.
MEDIASET CHANNELS WITH TELETEXT
According to an article in the Italian weekly "L'Espresso", the Mediaset TV
channels (Rete 4, Canale 5, Italia 1) as of November are going to introduce
their own teletext services. The news provider for the new service will be
the Italian news agency Ansa while the Italian financial daily "Il Sole 24
Ore" will supply the latest business news. The Mediaset teletext service
will also include a program guide, news about health and fashion and other
The three-year deal is said to be worth around 1 million DM a year. When
the new teletext service starts, it will mean an end to RAI's monopoly in
this area - RAI's service called Televideo is in fact the most read news
service in Italy.
- Da novembre anche le reti Mediaset avranno il loro Televideo. Questa
informazione viene confirmata dal settimanale L'Espresso. Il contratto con
l'Ansa per tre anni, vale circa un miliardo l'anno.
TGRT FOOTBALL MYSTERY
Last Sunday, October 5th; the Turkish private TV channel TGRT did not
broadcast the usual live Italian league football match. The match
Inter-Lazio in fact was not shown at all that night, despite the being
announced the same day on TGRT's Web site. It remains unclear at this
moment whether this was due to a technical problem, or is the result of
pressure put on the Turkish channel from the owners of the Italian TV
rights, Italian pay-TV network Telepiu. If the later is the case, then it
certainly came after some Italian newspapers gave wide publicity to the
fact that it is possible to watch live Italian football without having to
subscribe to a pay-TV channel (i.e. Telepiu). It is probable the news
alerted the Telepiu management which in turn put enough pressure on the
company in charge of selling the foreign TV rights (a subsidiary of the
Cecchi Gori Group) to stop TGRT carrying live broadcasts or at least
showing the game at a later time.
Satellite viewers will certainly recall the same problem appeared some
years ago when the German sports channel DSF started broadcasting live
Italian football. In any case, football fans throughout Europe will be
waiting with bathed breath to see if there will be live Italian football
this Sunday. Let's hope for the best.
- Per la prima volta, la scorsa domenica il 5 ottobre, il canale turco TGRT
non ha trasmesso in diretta il posticipo della Serie A di calcio,
Inter-Lazio. In questo momento non si sa la ragione, ma è probabile che,
dopo articoli apparsi sui giornali italiani sulla possibilità di captare il
calcio senza paggare niente, i dirigenti del Telepiu abbiano fatto
pressione per sospendere le dirette di TGRT. Aspettiamo questa domenica per
verificare se il nostro prognostico si conferma.
TELEPIU TO OFFER SUBSCRIBERS ALL LEAGUE MATCHES
At a meeting of Italian football league held recently in Milan, the
President of the League Council Franco Carraro announced that they have
authorised the Italian pay-TV network Telepiu to offer individual
subscribers the possibility to watch all Italian league games played at the
same time. Up till now, viewers had the option of subscribing to the
+Calcio pay-per-view service for around 600 DM (for all games of their
favourite team). Now, Telepiu will introduce a special "Gold" package for
existing subscribers to +Calcio who will be offered, as an experiment and
free of charge, the chance to change channels and watch what is going on at
other games being played at the same moment. Technically this will be
possible due to the fact that Telepiu owns several transponders on the
EUTELSAT HOT BIRD satellites.
- Il Consiglio di Lega di calcio, ha autorizzato Telepiu a proporre ai suoi
abbonati al servizio pay-per-view +Calcio degli abbonamenti chiamati
"Gold". Chi è già abbonato a una squadra potrà quest'anno, in via
sperimentale e senza nessun costo aggiuntivo, cambiare canale e vedere un
altra'partita. Questo è tecnicamente possibile, sfruttando
contemporaneamente diversi canali satellitari.
CHANGES AT RAI TRE
The President of RAI, Enzo Siciliano and Franco Iseppi, director general of
RAI have announced that a study has been commissioned with the goal of
relaunching RAI's third channel, RAI Tre. The study, which will be ready by
April 30th, 1998, will transform RAI Tre, not into a federal channel as
originally planned, but into a national channel with special emphasis on
local programming, information and culture. RAI Tre will become a
non-profit holding company and will be financed by the license fee and by
donations, i.e. advertising will be abolished. There will be no TV series
or entertainment programs, but films will continue to be broadcast.
- Il presidente Siciliano e il direttore generale della RAI Iseppi hanno
annunciato i piani per la nuova Terza rete. RAI Tre sarà una rete nazionale
invece di federale, ma con una forte attenzione alla programmazione locale,
informazione e cultura. Sarà finanziata dal canone, convenzioni e fondazioni.
LOCAL TV STATIONS ON SATELLITE
A working group has been formed which will examine the possibility of
converting local TV stations throughout Italy from analogue to digital
broadcasts. The project under discussion proposes that an ITALSAT
multi-beam satellite could be used to transmit 180 digital TV channels. The
working group will also examine the economic, legislative and technical
implications of such a project.
- Da qualche settimana, si è riunito un gruppo di lavoro che dovrebbe
produrre nel giro di un mese un progetto concreto per favorire la graduale
conversione delle tv locali dal sistema analogico a quello numerico. L¹idea
è quella di utilizzare un satellite Italsat multifascio capace di
diffondere 180 canali.
NEWS IN BRIEF
- The Italian horse racing-channel SISAL TV has appeared in MPEG-2 clear
(soon to be scrambled) on the EUTELSAT HOT BIRD 1 satellite. The technical
details are as follows: frequency 11,369 GHz/Hor, symbol rate 3998, FEC
3/4, PID Video 0488, PID Audio 0460.
- The Italian music channel Magic TV which is broadcast in clear MPEG-2 via
the EUTELSAT II F3 satellite (16 degrees East) is now on the air daily from
20:30 till 10:00 hours. The technical parameters stay the same: frequency
12,572 GHz/Hor, symbol rate 11264, FEC ¾, PID Video 45B4, PID Audio 458C.
- The Italian version of Cartoon Network (part of the Telepiu D+ package)
has a digital feed on the ORION 1 satellite (37,5 degrees West). The
frequency is 11,626 GHz/Ver, symbol rate 18900, FEC ¾.
* PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS FOR RAI CHANNELS OCTOBER 12-18 *
RAI DUE, 20:50h - Tom Clancy's Op Center (USA-1995), starring: Harry
Hamlin, John Savage
RAI UNO, 20:50h - Dennis the menace (USA-1993), starring: Mason Gamble,
RAI DUE, 00:35h - Omicidio imminente (USA-1994), starring: Steve McDonald
RAI UNO, 20:50h - Two mothers for Zachary (USA-1996), starring: Vanessa
RAI DUE, 20:50h - Primo cittadino - final part (Italy), starring: Tullio
RAI DUE, 00:35h - Gangsters (Italy-1992), starring: Ennio Fantastichini,
RAI TRE, 20:40h - The final cut (USA-1995), starring: Sam Elliott
RAI UNO, 22:50h - The king of comedy (USA-1983), starring: Robert de Niro,
RAI DUE, 20:50h - Below utopia (USA-1997), starring: Alyssa Milano
RAI UNO, 00:35h - Incontri a Parigi (France-1994), starring: Antoine
Basler, Clara Bellar
Note: all movies transmitted in the prime-time slot on RAI UNO are
subtitled in English on RAI Teletext page 778
RAI DUE, 05:30h - Formula 1: GP Japan
RAI DUE, 19:00h - Basketball: Italian league
RAI TRE, 15:40h - Tennis: ATP Senior Tour from Pesaro
RAI TRE, 16:25h - Tennis: ATP Senior Tour from Pesaro
RAI DUE, 20:50h - Football: Italian cup, Lazio-Napoli
RAI TRE, 16:30h - Volleyball (women): Italian league
RAI TRE, 15:25h - Volleyball: Italian league, Conad Ferrara-Alpitour Traco
RAI TRE, 00:05h - Box: Match for Italian champion in the superwelter
category, Paolo Pizzamiglio-Giovanni Fattori
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