Video Music Lineup Hikes Ratings

Considerable revamping of the lineup of Italy’s nationwide music channel, Video Music, has led to a dramatic increase in ratings over the past three months.

A survey conducted by Data Media TV Bank showed the web’s ratings for fall 1994 up by 40% over the previous year’s results. VM is now seen by an average of close to 9 million viewers per day, with the figure overtaking 9.25 million during peak points.

Execs at the channel attribute part of the increased success to experiments in live broadcasting for the first time in VM’s 10-year life span. Controlling body Marcucci Group invested $1.25 million in setting up a live show from Milan with music and interviews, which has substantially boosted ratings in its afternoon timeslot. The web has also increased its content of news and concert specials.

Conceived as a youth channel, VM’s viewers fall mainly into the 15-35 age bracket. But the study shows viewers in the 30-44 age range up by 50%.

VM president Marialina Marcucci continues to refute claims by Italo film producer Vittorio Cecchi Gori that a preliminary agreement to his acquisition of the web has been signed. Though no price tag was discussed, Cecchi Gori insists that an initial contract exists, reportedly negotiated with a senior member of the Marcucci family.

Though VM execs have excluded the possibility of a new Italian owner, they have conceded that the doors are open to offshore investors.

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