Mediaset surpasses RAI in terms of turnover

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset has for the first time surpassed RAI in terms of turnover thanks mainly to revenue from pay-TV.

In 2008, Mediaset's turnover was up 9 per cent to E3.27 billion, while the public broadcaster saw a drop of 0.7 per cent to E3.21 billion. Additionally, RAI is expected to register a loss of E210 million in 2010 that will increase to E600 million by 2012.

Key strategic decisions have certainly contributed to such a negative result – the option to give up on a potential revenue source such as pay-TV and the decision to renounce the E50 million per year paid by Sky Italia for the package of 4 RaiSat thematic channels.

RAI is also faced with the problem of TV license fee evaders, estimated at 28 per cent out of a total of 16 million Italians. Last but not least, RAI's labour costs are E580 million higher than those of Mediaset.

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