‘Smart TV in Italy’, the first of a series of reports from Deadline Media TV on OTT and connected television, details the current market for Smart TVs in Italy within the framework of broadcasting, broadband and mobile communications.
Deadline says that using MHP (Multimedia Home Platform), Italy is the first country to widely deploy a broadcaster centric horizontal platform in competition with proprietary platforms of major television manufacturers. It therefore provides major lessons for connected and OTT television in other European countries deploying HbbTV or MHEG IC. However MHP has, so far, progressed little further than from proof of concept.
The key finding from Deadline’s report is that connected television is taking off in Italy at a time when the existing broadcasting sector is faced with intense pressure to change. Advertising revenues have been brutally hit by austerity and the conventional pay-TV sector has probably peaked. A substantial amount of spectrum is now available for new linear-scheduled DTT services. Italy has been underserved by television even though Italians love it.
Deadline concludes that for the time being OTT will be driven by catch-up TV and VoD films; the two major terrestrial incumbents, RAI and Mediaset, are positioned to dominate catchup TV because they have the content and the brand names.