Mediaset needs partner for pay-TV business

Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset may need a partner to make its pay-TV business profitable, according to a report by Mediobanca Securities.

Since Mediaset considers Mediaset Premium as one of the priorities and in view of the rising price for premium content, analysts from the Italian investment bank believe that the best solution is an industrial and commercial  partnership with a foreign media group or investor.

Possible content and commercial partners being mentioned by the Italian press include Discovery, Disney and the BBC.

Mediaset believes that its pay-TV unit should break even in 2014. However, Mediaset Premium registered a loss of €69 million in 2011 and lost 25,000 subscribers and between January and March 2012 (rival Sky Italia lost 86,000 in the same period).

In a related development, last week the Italian Government authorised broadcasters RAI and Mediaset and mobile telephony operator 3 Italia to convert their DVB-H frequencies to DVB-T, i.e. from mobile TV use to digital terrestrial TV.

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