Mediaset Premium tops 3m subs

Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset-backed Premium pay-TV bouquet of digital-terrestrial channels is selling smart cards at a rate of 1000-2000 a day, and has now more than 3.3m activated subscribers. But this happy situation is under threat.

The problem is that about 50% of the cards are due to expire by this June. There’s no problem if viewers re-up their subscription, of course, but management are said to be sweating on having satisfied viewers with the current bundle – and promised extra channels.

For example, Mediaset has just added the Studio Universal movie channel, and this will go some way to keeping viewers happy, but arch-rival Sky Italia is fighting back with plenty of HDTV offerings.

Mediaset says it will break-even on its Premium offering next year.