You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Most Recent TV Upstart Sputters

For some time now, television industry observers have been declaring the need for new blood in Italy’s small-screen landscape, but a tentative first step toward challenging the longstanding RAI-Fininvest duopoly has met with dismal results.

Independent web Italia 7 pulled off a coup late last year, announcing the purchase of a crop of top-drawer feature films from Warner Bros, to be aired during December. But the entire slate, topped by such titles as “The Bodyguard,” “Batman: The Return” and “Lethal Weapons,” was withdrawn.

The acquisition of TV rights to a package of WB films and TV series by Daps, which controls Italia 7 and two minor channels, was perhaps the first instance of a potential ratings booster of this magnitude being sold outside of RAI or Fininvest.

Daps CEO Gianpiero Ades tested the waters by broadcasting a series of Warner titles that were not TV premieres, but nonetheless represented a considerable leap in quality for films aired on Italia 7. They included “Fandango,” “Body Heat,” “All the President’s Men” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” But results were so lackluster that Warner Bros. Television Italia chose to renege on the big-title deal.

“At this point, we preferred to block the broadcast to avoid wasting films with the potential to obtain good results on television,” said Rosario Ponzio, chief of Warner’s Italo TV division. “The Daps deal has been frozen for the moment, while we wait for more substantial guarantees.

“The programming of one or two big films per week, as we foresaw, is not sufficient to support a network without other programs to pull an audience.”

Meanwhile, execs at Daps have begun looking for new investors to cobble a more aggressive lineup, and to heighten Italia 7’s profile.

More Scene

  • HBO Presents-Night of Too Many Stars

    Jon Stewart, Other A-List Comics Skip Over Louis C.K. at 'Night of Too Many Stars'

    For some time now, television industry observers have been declaring the need for new blood in Italy’s small-screen landscape, but a tentative first step toward challenging the longstanding RAI-Fininvest duopoly has met with dismal results. Independent web Italia 7 pulled off a coup late last year, announcing the purchase of a crop of top-drawer feature […]

  • Variety Hitmakers Brunch

    Kendrick Lamar, DJ Khaled, Hailee Steinfeld Honored at Inaugural Variety Hitmakers Event

    For some time now, television industry observers have been declaring the need for new blood in Italy’s small-screen landscape, but a tentative first step toward challenging the longstanding RAI-Fininvest duopoly has met with dismal results. Independent web Italia 7 pulled off a coup late last year, announcing the purchase of a crop of top-drawer feature […]

  • The 'Runaways' Praise Series' Diversity at

    'Marvel's Runaways' Stars Praise Series' Diversity at Hulu Premiere

    For some time now, television industry observers have been declaring the need for new blood in Italy’s small-screen landscape, but a tentative first step toward challenging the longstanding RAI-Fininvest duopoly has met with dismal results. Independent web Italia 7 pulled off a coup late last year, announcing the purchase of a crop of top-drawer feature […]

  • 'The Shape of Water' film premiere

    Guillermo del Toro Calls 'The Shape of Water' a New Type of 'Beauty and the Beast'

    For some time now, television industry observers have been declaring the need for new blood in Italy’s small-screen landscape, but a tentative first step toward challenging the longstanding RAI-Fininvest duopoly has met with dismal results. Independent web Italia 7 pulled off a coup late last year, announcing the purchase of a crop of top-drawer feature […]

  • Girls Inc. hosts the 2017 LA

    Warner Bros. TV Exec Calls for End to Sexual Harassment: 'Enough Is Enough'

    For some time now, television industry observers have been declaring the need for new blood in Italy’s small-screen landscape, but a tentative first step toward challenging the longstanding RAI-Fininvest duopoly has met with dismal results. Independent web Italia 7 pulled off a coup late last year, announcing the purchase of a crop of top-drawer feature […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content