Rai 5, Mediaset Extra launch new channels
From Branislav Pekic in Rome

Italy’s leading broadcasters, RAI and Mediaset, have launched two new TV channels, with the goal of further boosting their DTT offerings.

Rai 5 will be taking the place of Rai Extra, ending the diversification of the 14-channel strong package from Italy’s state broadcaster. The schedule will be made up of varied and diverse programming, mainly with a cultural slant (arts, entertainment, travel, dance, theatre, design, documentaries, etc.).

During the official presentation of the channel, the deputy director general of RAI, Antonio Marano, did not discount the possibility that the pubcaster could offer pay-TV programmes in future years, adding that for the moment, priority would be given to free-to-air.

For its part, Mediaset Extra will be dedicated to the best entertainment programmes previously aired by the broadcaster’s flagship networks. This is the fourth free-to-air DTT channel from Mediaset after Boing, Iris and La5.

Both channels are being launched on the day of the analogue switch-off in Italy’s Lombardy and Piedmont regions.