MILAN — MTV Italia, the successful Italian version of the Viacom music channel, has launched a national campaign against an impending Communications Ministry ruling that likely would force the network to abandon terrestrial transmission by the end of the year.
“MTV, we don’t want to lose you, you are the only one. You are young and bright, and never disappointed us in the last two years since you were launched,” read a full-page appeal published Tuesday by the leading Italian paper Corriere della Sera.
The appeal was signed by many VIPs, most of them in showbiz, including TV personalities Maurizio Costanzo and Renzo Arbore, international music stars Madonna and Sting, the fashion industry’s Romeo Gigli, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, and filmmaker Ettore Scola.
MTV Italia was launched in 1997 and has increased its Italian-language programming to 70% of total airtime. It is the second-most-popular channel among viewers in the 15-18 age group, after Mediaset’s Italia 1.
However, when Italy’s Ministry for Communications allotted the new national terrestrial broadcasting licenses at the end of July, MTVA was not a recipient.