Advanced Television

RAI and Sky Italia settle carriage row

March 17, 2014

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

RAI and Sky Italia have signed an agreement that puts an end to a dispute on carriage of RAI channels dating back to 2009.

At the time, the Italian public broadcaster refused an offer from the pay-TV operator to allow unencrypted viewing of its channels for subscribers. The dispute was the one of the major factors for the launch of an alternative DTH platform, TivuSat, carrying the channels from RAI, Mediaset and Telecom Italia Broadcasting.

A legal battle also ensued, with Sky Italia appealing to the Administrative Court of Lazio, receiving both a favourable ruling by the Court and Italy’s State Council. For its part, RAI sued Sky Italia for offering its subscribers a USB DTT tuner (the so-called Digital Key), thus circumventing the blockade of the channels on satellite.

Now, RAI and Sky Italia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the duration of 12 months, which enables the later to offer the RAI TV channels free-to-air to subscribers. The agreement, however, goes further: it also covers TV ratings, revenue from advertising, as well as content production, both in terms of sharing of equipment and possible future collaborations.

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