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Italian pay-TV “ripe for consolidation”

There are Italian press reports that Sky (which controls the Sky UK, Sky Germany and Sky Italia broadcasters) has offered €1.1 billion to buy Mediaset’s pay-TV arm, which Mediaset has rejected.

In a note to clients, investment bank Exane BNP-Paribas hints that this is good news for both Mediaset and Sky. The bank’s report says it shows Sky is prepared to drive further consolidation in Europe, although the bank questions how much further Sky might go to achieve its goal.

Talking of goals, it is worth remembering that Sky Italia and Mediaset share coverage of Italy’s Seria A football games (2015-2018 series), and this sharing is the subject of an investigation by Italy’s powerful financial police force and the nation’s Competition Authority over alleged collusion between the two broadcasters.

The bank’s note concludes that it has valued Mediaset’s pay-TV arm as being worth about €900 million, although it doubts how much further Sky might be prepared to bid for what is – at the moment – a loss-making operation.

Nevertheless, the bank states that it believes Italian pay-TV is “ripe for consolidation”.

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