Advanced Television

Minister regrets Mockeridge pressure to issue Cielo license

December 14, 2009

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

The CEO of News Corporation Stations Europe, Tom Mockridge, is putting pressure on Italy's Deputy Minister for Communications to issue a broadcasting license for the new digital terrestrial channel Cielo, after a favourable opinion from Brussels.

In a letter sent to Paolo Romani, Mockridge stresses that a positive opinion from the European Union's General Directorate for Competition arrived on December 5, but that they are still waiting for the response of the Ministry on the license. According to the interpretation of the undertaking signed by News Corporation on the occasion of the birth of Sky Italia, it does not preclude the DTH operator from operating a free-to-air channel on DTT.

For his part, Romani says that the Ministry will give the green light to Cielo, “within the deadline set down by the law”, but expresses his regrets of the “inappropriate choice to make public a letter sent by Sky to the Ministry” regarding “institutional communication between the European Union and this ministry”.

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