RAI drops encryption on Sky Italia

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

Italian public broadcaster RAI has cancelled its deal with DTH operator Sky Italia for the use of the NDS encryption standard, six months before its expiry date. As a result, from the end July, RAI's TV channels may not be visible via Sky Italia's STB, with the blacking out of movies and sports for which RAI has not acquired the DTH rights.

RAI's move is linked to its partnership with commercial broadcaster Mediaset aimed at challenging Sky Italia's dominant position on the Italian digital TV market. The two broadcasters recently teamed up with Telecom Italia Media to set up a joint platform, Tivu’, to air their channels via satellite, independently of the Sky Italia platform. According to the president of Italy's Communications Authority (AgCom), Corrado Calabro’, Tivu’ will be launched in September, after the project is evaluated by the antitrust authorities and AgCom.

RAI has also set up a task force, headed by deputy director general, Giancarlo Leone, for the implementation of the Tivu’ platform.

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