Sky Italia aims for 5m subs

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

After reaching 4.8 million subscribers at the end of June, Italian DTH operator Sky Italia has now set 5 million as its target for the new season.

Speaking in Milan during the presentation of the new sports schedules, CEO Tom Mockridge said that Sky Italia's goal is continued growth despite the global recession. The new 2009/2010 season will see exclusive coverage of the South Africa World Cup, Six Nations rugby tournament and Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. In total, Sky's sports channels will dedicate 8.500 hours of programming to football and other sports, with six HD channels and 3.500 live events.

Asked to comment on the encryption of the RAI and Mediaset channels carried by the Sky Italia platform, Mockridge replied that he was not worried. "We like competition because it makes us stronger. We will respond with events, original programs and new ideas", he emphasised.

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