Sky Italia largest commercial broadcaster

By Julian Clover

July 7, 2009

Italy’s growing enthusiasm for pay-TV has led to Sky Italia becoming the most profitable commercial broadcaster in the country.

According to data released in the Annual Report of the communications regulator Agcom, Sky Italia’s €2.640 billion profit was second only to the Italian public broadcaster RAI on €2.723 billion. Mediaset (RTI), controlled by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, was third with €2.531 billion.

Although Mediaset experienced a 0.3% decline in advertising revenues, it has been able to bolster its income through the growth in its DTT pay platform Mediaset Premium. The venture netted €199 million in 2008 compared to €125 million in 2008.

The report notes that for the first time the number of digital households in Italy is greater than those on the old analogue system. As in other markets the shift to digital broadcasting has been marked by a fall in audiences to the incumbent analogue channels, which have lost 9% of their audience since 2000.

Authority president Corr ado Calabrò admitted to journalists that work could be done to accelerate the pace of digital switchover that began belatedly in Sardinia in 2008. Calabrò said viewers needed to be better informed about the process and a dialogue was needed with the local Authorities for targeted communication campaigns.