Sky Italia faces FTA rival
RAI, Mediaset and Telecom Italia Media are to launch a DTH satellite platform to support Italyís burgeoning DTT sector. The public broadcaster RAI and the Berlusconi owned Mediaset will hold the lionís share in Tivý with 48% each. Telecom Italia will take a minority stake of just 4%.
Two public facing brands will be used, Tivý and Tivý Sat, with the operation possibly on-air as early as March 2009. All three companies already hold capacity on the Eutelsat Hot Bird neighbourhood, the same satellite used by their principal competitor Sky Italia. Italian media is reporting Tivý has refused an initial offer from Eutelsat, but with 13 degrees East being the defacto slot for Italian satellite, the use of another position seems unlikely.
Although Tivýís broadcasts will be offered free-to-air, a smart card will be required because of the issues surrounding sports and movie rights, with Irdeto identified as the conditional access provider. Irdeto is already used by Telecom Italiaís DTT pay package La7 CartaPiu. Mediaset also runs a DTT pay pack under the name Mediaset Premium.