After a short absence due to brand ownership and management problems, Italian sports TV channel Sporttalia is set to return on June 2nd.
Sportitalia is owned by Prima TV, a joint venture of Tunisian businessman Tarak Ben Ammar and Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris. Prima TV also operates the DFree DTT multiplex in Italy which currently carries several Mediaset Premium pay-TV channels.
The project will require an investment of €6-8 million. Instead of three channels (Sportitalia, Sportitalia 2 and Sportitalia 24), there will be only one Sportitalia available on channel number 153. Negotiations are currently underway for carriage on DTH platforms Sky Italia and TivuSat.
In a related development, Italian media group Mondadori is planning to launch a TV version of its national commercial radio station, Radio 101. R101 TV will be available throughout Italy on DTT channel 66.
Finally, Italian thematic channel producer Sitcom has decided to reduce its workforce by 80 per cent, with the dismissal of 74 out of 94 employees. The move follows the failure by Sitcom to renew a long-running carriage deal with pay-TV platform Sky Italia. As a consequence, the thematic channels Alice, Marcopolo, Nuvolari and Leonardo are now aired, free-to-air, on DTT and satellite (Tivusat), with significantly lower revenues.