From Branislav Pekic in Rome
There were nearly 1.500 digital TV channels available in Italy and in 2006 they earned E2.5 billion, according to the New TV Observatory of the School of Management of Milan's Polytechnic.
The Observatory divided the channels into three categories, on the basis of the six platforms currently available (DTT, IPTV, Sat-TV, Web-TV, Mobile TV on the DVB-H network and on the mobile network): 444 can be received via the TV set (Sofa TV), 812 on the Internet (Desktop TV) and 151 on the mobile phone (Hand TV).
Despite the increasing number of digital channels available via the Internet, more than 95 per cent of the turnover is realised by Sofa TV's, which in numerical terms represent only 32 per cent of the digital channels. The concentration is even more evident taking into account the fact that 92 per cent of the turnover of Sofa TVs is realised by satellite TV channels, primarily those aired by Sky Italia.
Although it is difficult to estimate the turnover of the Desktop TVs and Hand TVs, the head of the New TV Observatory, Andrea Rangone, reckoned that it amounted to several tens of millions of Euros in 2006, with a certain prevalence of Hand TVs. The observatory has identified more than 800 channels on the Web, but considers that little more than 500 have an adequate offer.