Telecom Italia stays in the red

March 2, 2009 | 10:59 UK

Telecom Italia Media (TIM), the media subsidiary of Telecom Italia, has reported its 2008 net loss at €93.9 million, compared with a €88.1 million loss a year earlier.
The company has said the higher loss is due to a fall in advertising sales and an increase in the costs of digital TV. TIM owns and operates the television channels La7 and MTV.

The company also said it expects advertising revenue to continue decreasing in 2009, with the exception of that for its La7 channel. It still forecasts 2009 operating results to be better than 2008, thanks to a strong performance of digital terrestrial TV. La7 reported revenues of € 91.7 million, down by € 5.0 million from € 96.7 million in 2007. MTV revenues amounted to €72.4 million, up 0.8% compared to year-end 2007 (€ 71.8 million).

TIM confirmed it still want to sell its digital assets through a competitive auction. Last December, a deal to sell the digital business fell apart after a private equity fund pulled out. Last year, the operator sold its DTT pay TV business to Airplus TV, which has recently been relaunched as Dahlia TV.
Meanwhile, Telecom Italia said the company’s IPTV service continues to increase its penetration in the consumer market, with a portfolio of 329,000 customers, up 249,000 on the end of 2007.