Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset has announced it will fully encrypt its free-to-air satellite channels on satellite.
Until now, Mediaset’s flagship channels Canale 5, Italia and Rete 4 were available in the clear for viewers in Italy and Europe, via the Eutelsat 13 degrees East orbital position. The only exception were live sports events and some copyright protected programmes that were encrypted for satellite broadcasts.
From September 7th, in order to continue watching the three TV channels, satellite viewers will have to procure a TivuSat decoder and smartcard, for which no monthly subscription is required.
Mediaset says that the move has been made necessary because due to significant costs and investments it can no longer allow other operators to continue using the signals of its channels without paying anything. According to the broadcaster, it tried to reach agreements with operators, but without success.
Currently, some 2 million households in Italy use TivuSat and, in addition to the three flagship channels from Mediaset, can also watch five thematic channels from the broadcaster (Iris, La5, Top Crime, Italia 2 and Extra).