RAI, Mediaset and Telecom Italia Media are combining to launch a DTH platform called Tivu, to support Italy's DTT sector. RAI and Mediaset will own 48% each with Telecom Italia taking 4%.
The launch could be as soon as March 2009. All three companies already hold capacity on the Eutelsat Hot Bird, the same satellite used by their principal competitor Sky Italia. No new capacity has been contracted yet for the new service.
Although Tivu's broadcasts will be offered free-to-air, a smart card will be required because of the issues surrounding sports and movie rights, with Irdeto the conditional access provider. Irdeto is already used by Telecom Italia's DTT pay package La7 CartaPiu.