Rai and Eutelsat to expand HD offer in Italy

November 13, 2013 11.49 Europe/London By Robert Briel

Rai and Eutelsat Communications have sealed an agreement enabling Italy’s public service broadcaster to deliver its new portfolio of HD channels across Italy via the TivůSat DTH platform that already reaches into 1.7 million television homes.

Rai will broadcast its three flagship channels in HD – Rai 1, Rai 2, Rai 3 – via TivůSat that transmits through Eutelsat’s Hot Bird satellites. This latest agreement between Rai and Eutelsat marks a new phase of collaboration in satellite broadcasting that has stretched over almost 30 years, spanning analogue, digital and now HD.

Italian satellite TV homes will automatically receive Rai’s new HD channels on a free-to-air basis through HD compatible set-top boxes receiving TivůSat. Launched in 2009, TivůSat is a free-to-view digital satellite platform that offers a wide range of Italian and international channels.

Renato Farina, CEO of Eutelsat Italia, declared: “This new step underscores Eutelsat’s longstanding commitment to playing our part in the digitisation of broadcasting in Italy and to constantly enhancing the viewing experience. The launch of this initial test phase of Rai’s new HD content at our Hot Bird neighbourhood ensures immediate 100% coverage of Italian territory and underscores the increasing penetration of HD content across our broadcasting satellites.”