Sky flies but shrinking economy delivers blow to Italian TV

Editor | 10-07-2013

Data released by Italian telecommunications and media regulator AgCom has shown just how the country's economic travails are hitting its media sector.

In its 2013 annual report, AgCom found that revenues from all Italian telecommunications, media and postal services totalled 61.4 billion, a $4.4 drop on the previous year due mainly to a decline in advertising revenue. The once mighty media sector including broadcasters, radio, Internet and traditional publishers was not spared at all from the effects of the shrinking economy, with 2012 revenues declining 1.6 billion year-on-year to 15.7 million.
Looking at the free-to-air TV sector with more focus, AgCom found that state broadcaster RAI was the revenue leader claiming nearly half (48.3%) of the market with Mediaset accounting for 38.9%.
Silvio Berlusconi's media firm was also in second place when it came to pay-TV, posting 2.48 billion in revenue in 2012, a 13.2% fall compared with the previous year. The pay-TV market was led by Sky Italia with 2.63 billion in revenue. This too was down, by 1.4%, on the previous year.
Sky's leading position was a function of its investments in both technology and content, despite the difficult economic situation, said CEO Andrea Zappia. He added: "We operate in a single entertainment market in which all the operators are competing for the various resources available on all platforms subscriptions, advertising, content and, most of all, the viewer's attention. The industry is going through pivotal changes, with the continuous arrival of new entrants; therefore we need to have the courage to look at it from a long-term perspective. We need new rules, the same rules for all, based on a technologically neutral approach that puts the client at the centre."