Advanced Television

Report: Italian TV channel offer continues to shrink

June 10, 2024

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

The number of TV channels broadcasting in Italy has been steadily decreasing over the past decade, dropping from 389 in 2012 to 343 in 2022 and 316 in 2023, according to a report published by Confindustria Radio Televisioni.

At the end of 2023, there were 268 nationally-produced channels, a drop of 18 per cent compared to 2012 (326 channels) and 8 per cent compared to 2022 (292 channels). This decline applies to both free-to-air (FTA) and pay-TV options.

The FTA offer (terrestrial and satellite) dropped from 389 channels in 2012 to 316 in 2023 (-19 per cent). On the other hand, the FTA satellite offering (Tivusat) has continued to grow, reaching 115 channels by 2023, surpassing the number of channels on the Sky Italia pay platform (97 channels).

The pay-TV market has shrunk dramatically, with the closure of several digital terrestrial commercial operators. By 2023, the entire pay segment, including the DAZN channels, had dwindled to just 99 channels compared to 242 in 2012.

A significant factor in the 2022 decline was the refarming of the 700 MHz band and the transition to the new MPEG-4 H.264 standard, which resulted in the loss of over 40 channels on the DTT platform alone. At the end of 2023, the DTT offer totaled 107 TV channels, almost all of which were free-to-air (FTA).

Over the past few years, the number of HD channels has more than doubled, jumping from 61 to 130 (a 113 per cent increase). Notably, in 2023 alone, channels broadcasting exclusively in HD surpassed 90. This growth has come at the expense of SD channels, which have dwindled from 264 in 2012 to just 136 in 2023, reflecting a decline of 49 per cent.

Italy’s TV scene is dominated by 35 major media groups, of which the top five control 63 per cent of the total market with a combined 168 channels.

Sky Italia Group leads with 73 channels, followed by Rai (46 channels), Mediaset Group (20 channels), Warner Bros. Discovery Italia Group (18 channels), Paramount Italia (11 channels) and Sciscione Group (11 channels).

Following the completion of the digital TV transition in 2022, Italy’s digital terrestrial platform operates with 11 active national multiplexes. A 12th multiplex is currently on hold due to a licensing disagreement. As of the end of 2023, these multiplexes broadcast a total of 107 TV channels and 16 radio channels.

Categories: Articles, Broadcast, Content, DTH/Satellite, DTT/DSO, FTA, Pay TV

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