Italy: Discovery Italia #3 broadcaster

Discovery Italia ended 2017 as the third largest broadcaster in Italy in terms of share (7.1 per cent), up 4 per cent compared to the previous year.

In the prime-time slot, the share reached 5.8 per cent (+10 per cent year-on-year), with Nove (1.6 per cent share) being the FTA channel with the highest growth (+59 per cent).

The growth has come from the group’s FTA and pay-TV channels, as well as the digital operations, including OTT service Dplay (+57 per cent growth of unique users).

Meanwhile, Eurosport Player has surpassed 100,000 subscribers in Italy and could soon account for €10 million in revenues. The OTT service is especially popular among young audiences, passionate about sports and opting for vertical platforms at affordable prices.

According to market estimates, Discovery Italia is expected to close 2017 with €260 million in turnover, reports daily Italia Oggi.

Asked whether the broadcaster would be interested in buying Serie A packages from MediaPro, executive VP general manager Alessandro Araimo replied that it is satisfied with its existing customer base, which is not orientated towards football, enabling the company to have sustainable operating costs. However, he pointed out that the Eurosport 1 and 2 channels will air more than 400 live hours of the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, while wall-to-wall coverage (over 900 hours) will be available only on Eurosport Player.

According to Araimo, Eurosport’s audience in Italy grew by 60-70 per cent over the last two years (36 per cent only in 2017), resulting also in advertising revenue growth.

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