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Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset will seek retransmission fees from pay-TV operator Sky Italia for the broadcasting of its free-to-air channels on the satellite TV platform.
Mediaset executive director, Gina Nieri, said they have been seeking an agreement with Sky Italia, but will now exercise their rights with formal acts in the coming weeks, as this is standard practice in the US and Europe. She added that the request to Sky is supported by the recent resolution passed by Italy’s Communications Authority (AgCom) that recognised the right of public broadcaster RAI to get paid for content from Sky Italia.
However, the regulator has rejected this comparison, pointing out that its decision can be applied only on RAI and not on commercial broadcasters, such as Mediaset.
Although Mediaset’s director of strategic marketing, Federico di Chio, did not want to say how much a deal could be worth, he pointed out that in the UK the retransmission fees of the free-to-air channels are worth around £200 million, while in Germany the figure is close to €93 million.
Mediaset is already in discussion over TV rights with Vodafone Italia and Telecom Italia, while it has already signed an agreement with Microsoft. At the same time it is fighting in the courts for the posting of its programmes on YouTube and Google portals, demanding €500 million in compensation.