RaiSat channels to leave Sky Italia

By Julian Clover

July 29, 2009

The five RaiSat channels are reportedly preparing to leave the Sky Italia platform with effect from August 1.

Dow Jones said on Wednesday afternoon that the public broadcaster had been unable to agree terms with the News Corp operation after months of negotiations. The channels in question Rai Extra, Premium, Cinema, Smash Girls and Yo Yo will be restricted to the digital terrestrial platform and the recently launched free-to-view satcaster TivůSat.

Sky had offered €425 million for the channels over seven years, but RAI was seeking a higher fee, which the platform refused to meet. Already Sky has begun to develop alternatives to the channels, such as Sky Cinema Italia, which launched last week.

RAI’s national networks RAI Uno, RAI Due and RAI Tre are covered by a separate agreement and are expected to remain on the air.