Sky Italia: 4.8m subs, now for Free TV
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp will launch ‘Cielo’ (which means ‘Sky’ in Italian), a free-to-view terrestrial network, on Dec 1. The channel will compete directly with Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset cluster of free channels, as well as public broadcaster RAI.
"Cielo will enrich Italy's digital terrestrial offer, bringing more competition in a sector dominated by Mediaset and RAI," said News Corp’s Stations Europe COO Gary Davey in a statement. "We are sure that Cielo will soon prove to be another successful investment for News Corp. in Italy, based on a cost-effective and realistic business plan."
There are no details as to programming, but this new digital channel will see distribution become nationwide over the next 18 months or so as Italy completes its switch from analogue to digital TV.