Italy Beefs Up

After 1994’s weak turnout, Italians this year will be presenting a united front. For the first time, a “Welcome Italia” pavilion will be set up, serving as an umbrella structure for the seven companies attending.

Individual company stands have never before been deemed necessary for Italo TV outfits, which clearly see the market as more of a buying than a selling trip. But the idea of a beefed-up presence has encouraged several local entities new to NATPE to make the trip.

Along with seasoned attendees from pubcaster RAI and Silvio Berlusconi’s Fininvest, the pavilion will house reps from the Television Producers Assn., Cinecitta Intl., Editel-Editoria Elettronica and Telecom Italia (both of which will be primarily concerned with multimedia developments) and RAI’s increasingly autonomous sales and distribution arm, Sacis.

In the RAI camp, the head of acquisitions for the three webs, Andrea Melodia, will be in Las Vegas, but without particular expectations.

“NATPE has always been a less important buying occasion for us than AFM,” he says. “It’s main interest to the RAI networks is as a source of new program formats. For this reason, it’s a more important appointment for Sacis, especially in terms of their own format sales and increasing their dealings with the U.S. market.”

Sacis will unveil its video catalog of TV and feature film titles and formats, newly available on CD-ROM.

For Fininvest, Silvio Berlusconi Communications/Mediaset CEO Carlo Bernasconi is penciled in to attend, with Giovanni Stabilini and Daniele Lorenzano handling sales and acquisitions respectively.

With acquisitions budgets still on the lean side across the Italo TV panorama, most reps will be looking primarily to renew successful existing series before casting a selective eye over new offerings.

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