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Italian media sector revenues dropped by 3.2 per cent last year, falling from €14.8 billion in 2013 to €14.3 billion in 2014, according to the annual report of the Communications Authority (AgCom).
TV maintained the lion’s share of media revenues, although the figure of €8.5 billion was down €1.5 billion, while internet revenues were up 10 per cent, from €1.4 billion to €1.6 billion. Pay-TV saw a growth of 1.4 per cent for a turnover of €3.37 billion, although free-to-air still leasd in revenue (€4.54 billion, but down 3.3 per cent on 2013).
Satellite pay-TV platform Sky Italia generated the most revenue in the TV sector, 34.1 per cent, up 1.4 per cent over 2013. Commercial broadcasting group Mediaset (27.8 per cent) overtook public broadcaster RAI (27.2 per cent) to place second. Discovery Channel accounted for 1.9 per cent of total revenue and the Cairo Group, which owns national broadcaster La7, for 1.7 per cent.
Sky Italia is also leader in the pay-TV segment, with a market share that surpasses 80 per cent, while Mediaset, with its Premium platform, has a 19 per cent market share.
The value of the Italian communications sector as a whole fell by 5.9 per cent over 2013 to €52.4 billion. The telecommunications sector (accounting for 61 per cent or €32.0 billion) reported the biggest drop (-7.7 per cent), followed by media services (-3.2 per cent).
Italian broadband penetration reached 36 per cent, significantly trailing behind the 68 per cent average of the EU-28. The situation is even more critical when the speed of connections is considered: only 4 per cent of Italian households use connections in excess of 30 Mbps (26 per cent in the EU-28) and there are practically no connections above 100 Mbps (9 per cent in the EU-20).
On the positive side, FTTC coverage (35 per cent) is on European levels, with 185 Italian municipalities currently covered with FTTC networks.