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Italy DTT: Gazzetta TV and Laeffe TV to close?

Italy’s Gazzetta TV and Laeffe TV, available nationally via the DTT network, are at risk of closure due to low viewing figures, according to local daily Milano Finanza.

Launched in February of this year by Italian sports daily “Gazzetta dello Sport” (part of RCS Mediagroup), the programme schedule of Gazzetta TV includes live coverage of Italian league basketball and volleyball as well as the English and Brazilian Football Leagues.

However, the average TV audience share has remained at 0.18 per cent, well below the 0.7 per cent target, while advertising revenue is at most €6 million.

For its part, Italian media group Feltrinelli is also reconsidering the future of LaEffe, its general entertainment channel launched in 2013. Although LaEffe broadcasts high quality documentaries, movies and TV series, the average daily audience share has not surpassed 0.25 per cent (the initial target was 0.7 per cent before growing to 1.5 per cent). Losses have reached €140 million in 2014 and the channel is expected to close 2015 with a loss of €4 million.

Besides closure, there is also the possibility of selling the venture or the entry of a new shareholders, such as U.S. media group Scripps, already present in Italy with the Fine Living channel.

Meanwhile, Viacom is mulling the launch of a new free-to-air entertainment channel in Italy next year. Although there is no official confirmation, one of the possibilities could be the Italian version of the Paramount Channel.

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