The Italian Reti Televisive Italiane (RTI) has confirmed it will spin off its Mediaset Premium pay-TV business into a separate company.
The new company Mediaset Premium Spa will become operational on December 1, 2014. Telefonica will hold 11.11% in the new entity. Telefonica acquired the stake for €100 million in July, shortly after completing its acquisition of Mediaset’s 22% stake in Spanish pay-TV platform Digital+ for an initial €295 million.
Mediaset Premium said it will invest in improving the quality of its content including acquiring exclusive sports rights. The unit will also explore more distribution platforms. At the moment its channels are exclusively available on DTT with on-demand options via IPTV.
RTI will continue to hold 88.89% in Mediaset Premium, but said it is open to other investors, who can bring added value to the company. This could involve Vivendi and Al Jazeera, who apparently showed an interest in taking part in the Italian pay-TV business.
The company will have 267 employees. Franco Ricci will be the managing director of Mediaset Premium Spa, Yves Confalonieri director of content, Mark Rosini commercial director, Eugene Pettazzi CTO and Dominic Alessio chief information officer.