AirPlus TV to launch Italian pay-TV service


Swedish AirplusTV Group is launching its digital terrestrial pay-TV platform in Italy in March. Dahlia TV will take the place of La7 Cartapiù, as a result of the December deal between AirplusTV Group and Telecom Italia Media for the transfer of all DTT pay-TV activities to the to the Italian division of AirplusTV.

The new pay-TV venture will inherit the TV rights to five Serie A football clubs (Fiorentina, Sampdoria, Palermo, Catania and Cagliari) and the entire Serie B. Besides football, Dahlia TV will also offer five thematic channels dedicated to sports, travel, extreme travel, science and adult content, based on a successful formula implemented in Sweden, Finland and Spain. The target audience are men aged between 25 and 60 years.

More details on the pay-TV offers will soon be revealed, but it is likely that a basic and premium package will be offered to subscribers who will also have to change their existing smart-cards. Current population coverage of the Cartapiù multiplex, which has at least 20 Mbit of transmission capacity, is estimated at 85%.

Dahlia TV will join existing digital multiplex operators RAI, Mediaset, DFree and Rete A. According to data from DGTVi, in 2008 revenues of pay-TV channels on DTT amounted to E240 million, while advertising revenues on FTA channels totalled E25 million.