Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset is close to buying national DTT channels 45 and 55, currently used by Sony Pictures Television for its Pop and Cine Sony channels.
According to daily Il Sole 24 Ore, the negotiations are in the final stages and if the deal goes through it would mean that Sony would no longer have any presence as a channel producer in Italy – after just two years of activity in the country that has failed to draw ratings.
The news of the potential deal has been circulating for months, with an interest for Sony’s Italian TV assets expressed also by the likes of Viacom, De Agostini, and Fox.
The expectation is that channel 45 (kids/children programming) will be acquired by Mediaset through a joint venture with Turner Broadcasting System, while channel 55 would be directly owned by the Italian broadcaster.
In recent months, Mediaset has been expanding its presence on DTT by taking over channel 66 (formerly ReteCapri, now Italia2) and its HD version on channel 566, from TBS.