Telecom Italia, Espresso Group in DTT multiplex talks
September 16, 2013
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Telecom Italia and media group L’Espresso are in negotiations over creating a DTT alliance to manage five DTT multiplexes – the maximum allowed by current legislation.
Despite denials by both parties, the negotiations are ongoing according to Italian daily La Stampa, with the goal of grouping the three multiplexes of Telecom Italia Media with the two of L’Espresso (operated under the Rete A name). Two options are on the table: a merger of Rete A into Telecom Italia Media Broadcasting or, more likely, the setting up of a NewCo with the assets of the two groups.
The Rete A1 and Rete A2 multiplexes transmit the TV channels (DeeJay TV and LaEffe) and radio stations of the L’Espresso Group, as well as a number of TV channels of other groups (Cielo, Lottomatica TV). For their part, the TI Media Broadcasting multiplexes carry a selection of channels from different media groups (La7, Viacom, Discovery, Sportitalia, DeAgostini, and Mediaset).
A tie-up between the two would open up the possibility for renting additional capacity, including for Mediaset, whose five multiplexes are already saturated. For Telecom Italia, the deal would enable the operator to tackle the issue of debt of its multimedia unit (€285 million in June).