Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset has been awarded temporary multiplex capacity for the launch of HDTV tests.
Although the tender to award five digital multiplexes has yet to take place, Mediaset has received Channel 58 (frequency 770 MHz) in those areas of Italy where the ASO has already taken place. The broadcaster plans to use the capacity to air the Rete 4 HD, Italia 1 HD and Premium Calcio 2 HD channels in Lazio, Campania, Eastern Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta, Trentino Alto Adige and Sardinia.
The decision to grant temporary use of a digital multiplex was made by Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Paolo Romani, following a request submitted in July by Mediaset. Once the tender is completed the frequency will have to be vacated. Answering criticism from the opposition, Romani pointed out that he has issued similar permits in the past to RAI and would do the same to other broadcasters.