Italian broadcasters see future in on demand
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Hot on the heels of La7, Italian broadcasters Sky Italia, Mediaset and RAI are also planning to launch their own "on demand" services.
This month, Sky Italia is introducing Sky Selection On Demand, a free service that allows subscribers equipped with MySky and MySkyHD decoders to choose from a constantly updated selection of films, TV series, sports, documentaries and programmes for children. Content can be accessed at any time of day and "be saved" on the part of the hard drive normally used for the recording of favourite programmes.
Mediaset is working on a "catch-up" for next year with a selection of programmes aired on its free-to-air and pay-TV channels. Its pay-TV unit, Mediaset Premium, launched its own "on demand" service in November featuring 50 movies that are constantly updated. The broadcaster expects that 100,000 "Premium On Demand" decoders will be in shops for Christmas at a unit cost of E139. A special HD version of the digital box should appear on the Italian market at the beginning of 2010.
RAI, which one year ago signed an agreement with YouTube making available its videos, is launching a "replay TV" service on its Internet portal in early 2010.
On-demand services are already provided by Italian IPTV operators Telecom Italia, Fastweb and Infostrada.