TS News - Telepiu To Lease Digital Receivers

TELE-satellit News, 10 March 1997

Telepiu To Lease Digital Receivers
  MILAN, Italy, 97/03/10 (TS) -- The new managment of Telepiu is
contemplating several strategies in order to increase the number of
subscribers to its digital subscription package. One of them is the leasing
of digital receivers and this operation has already started in Milan and in
other cities of the province of Lombardy. The digital boxes are being
offered for 15,000 LIT (around 15 DEM) a month which equals 180,000 LIT
(180 DEM a year).

  Subscribers can pay either every two months or annualy. According to a
Telepiu spokesman, "this is only a limited market experiment" and does not
signify a definite market strategy. The excessive cost of the digital
receivers, which are sold at prices ranging from 1,500 to 1,800 DEM is the
principal obstacle to the development of the digital market in Italy.
Currently, there are a little over 50,000 subscribers to the Telepiu
Satellite service despite a rich offer of Italian language programming and
live Italian league football.

  The whole leasing operation is currently only in its test phase because
it is rather costly for Telepiu who has to subsidize the potential
subscribers. According to some market experts, Telepiu has bought several
thousand digital receivers from Nokia and Grundig at the price of around
500 DEM which in turn were turned ove to the satellite equipment dealers.
In parallel to this digital receiver offer, the package of channels that
form part of the Telepiu Satellite bouquet is to be relaunched. The monthly
subscription is around 57 DEM a month or 684 DEM for a whole year. For this
price subscribers get all the channels minus the live Italian football
league games. The announced Formula 1 service on five simoultaneous
channels is set to start on March 9th and the subscription fee for all the
season will be around 150 DEM.

  By: Branislav Pekic

(c)TELE-satellit 1997. All rights reserved.

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