From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Italy is registering a boom in sales of TV sets with integrated DTT decoders, as a result of the tax break introduced last August by the ministries of Communications and Economy.
A total of 1,027,000 DTT-compatible TV sets were sold during 2007, in comparison to only 150,000 a year earlier. Sales are continuing at the same rate in 2008, with 173,000 devices sold in January.
The decree enables Italians to deduct 20 per cent of the effective purchase in their tax returns for 2008. The tax breaks, which have since ended, and increased consumer interest have contributed to a price drop. While Italians had to fork out E1,500 on average for TV sets with integrated decoders for Christmas 2006, one year later prices had dropped below the E1,000 threshold.
The ministerial decree also establishes that from June 2009 only TV sets with integrated DTT decoders will be sold on the Italian market.