From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Tiscali has launched its IPTV service in Rome, Milan and Cagliari, which will be progressively extended to another five cities (Turin, Florence, Naples, Catania and Bologna) by March 2008. According to Tiscali Italia CEO, Mario Mariani, the goal is to attain an 11 per cent penetration rate among total ADSL clients by 2009. The IPTV service is currently available only to direct access clients, where Tiscali's unbundling network is present, estimated at around 300,000. Mariani says that the user base should be doubled to 600,000 in 2008.
As well as with RAI, Tiscali has now signed a distribution agreement with DTH operator Sky Italia, whose pay-TV offer will be available on IPTV from the first half of 2008. Negotiations are currently underway with leading commercial broadcaster Mediaset and Tiscali hopes to reach an agreement soon.
Currently, the IPTV platform carries 50 TV channels, divided into five thematic areas: children, cinema, music, User Generated Content and 10 TV (short content lasting between 2 and 10 minutes). The subscription for Tiscali TV's basic package will be E17, but the service will be free of charge until March 31.