Advanced Television

Entrepreneur eyes Italian broadcasters

October 28, 2013

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

French-Tunisian film and TV entrepreneur Tarak Ben Ammar has told Italy’s Radio 24 that he would be willing to buy Italian public broadcaster RAI if it was up for sale.

Ben Ammar said that the privatisation of the broadcaster would serve to get politics out of the TV sector. ”Sawiris bought Wind, Telecom Italia is owned by the Spanish, so why can’t two Arabs be partners with Italians for a privatised Rai,” he asked.

The union of RAI journalists (Usigrai) replied to his comments in saying that ”RAI is not up for sale. We are sorry to disappoint the entrepreneur Tarak Ben Ammar, but no large European country is without its own public radio and TV service.” In a statement, Usigrai chief Vittorio di Trapani stressed that ”in order to free RAI from parties we don’t need to privatise it, we need to bring in some reforms.”

Ben Ammar has also expressed interest in another national TV channel, La7, which “isn’t up for sale”. According to Ben Ammar he is prepared to take a share, “if Urbano Cairo wants a partner”.

In Italy, Ben Ammar controls Prima TV, a holding that groups all his media interests (DTT multiplex D-Free, Sportitalia TV brand).

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