Advanced Television

RAI broke law encrypting Sky Italia channels

July 13, 2012

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

A Rome administrative court has ruled that Italian public broadcaster RAI is violating its public service charter by encrypting its free-to-air TV channels so as to deny Sky Italia the ability to carry the RAI channels on its DTH platform.

Specifically, Sky Italia had filed a suit with an Italian regional administrative court challenging a 2009 decision by the Italian communications regulator (AgCom) that permitted RAI to encrypt some programming. RAI’s decision obligated Sky subscribers to purchase a separate TivuSat decoder (enabling the reception of the RAI, Mediaset and Telecom Italia Media channels).

The Court defines AgCom’s decision as unlawful as public service programming must be universally accessible via all technology platforms.

According to Andrea Zappia, CEO of Sky Italia, the court ruling “represents a victory for all Sky subscribers and an important reminder that RAI must comply with its public service obligations towards all Italian citizens”.

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