Italy’s Communications Authority (AgCom) has authorised commercial broadcaster Mediaset to transform a DVB-H multiplex into DVB-T technology.
The MDS3 multiplex, originally allocated for mobile TV broadcasting, was acquired by Mediaset Group in 2006 from Europa TV. To date it was not used for the transmission of DTT channels. As a result of this decision, Mediaset now disposes of five DTT multiplexes, the maximum allowed by law.
In its request to the regulating body, Mediaset provided several committments. The new DVB-T multiplex will not contain new channels, so as not to alter the current balance of the TV and advertising markets, nor will it carry new “time shifted” channels, which would lead to the multiplication of advertising.
On the other hand, Mediaset’s fifth multiplex may contain HD and DVB-T2 versions of the existing FTA channels (simulcast) or pay-TV/PPV channels of the group (including new ones), as the broadcaster’s share of the pay-TV market is limited. It may also carry third-party channels, both free-to-air and subscription.
The MDS3 multiplex currently has 82.6 per cent coverage of the Italian population.
Italy has 18 DTT multiplexes, of which RAI and Mediaset have five each, followed by Telecom Italia Media Broadcasting (3), Rete A/Espresso Group (2), while Rete Capri, Prima TV and H3G have one each.