Mediaset spins off premium pay-TV business
| 15 November 2014
Not taking lightly the challenge of a beefed-up Sky Italia, Mediaset has a launched a new pay-TV business for its premium content, most notably football.

The new concern, Mediaset Premium Spa, will launch on 1 December 2014 and will be a joint venture between the parent groupís subsidiary RTI and Spanish telco Telefůnica, which will hold an 11.11% stake.

Explaining the new offer, Silvio Berlusconiís firm said that Mediaset Premium would aim to focus and develop more and more commitment to the production and distribution of content broadcast on pay-TV platforms, as well as to further enhance the recent investments made by the Group for the exclusive acquisition of significant sports rights absolute in the coming years.

The new firmís business plan schedules a general increase in premium quality product as well as for delivery on new distribution platforms. Premium content will be offered to new customers with value-added services, including subscriptions. A shareholders' meeting is convened for 26 November 2014 to elect a new board of directors. Current head of Mediasetís pay-TV assets Franco Ricci has been nominated as managing director for the new company, which will have a formidable rival in Sky Italia which has now officially been integrated with the Sky pay-TV business in the UK and Sky Deutschland.