MTV Italia carriage at risk

Rete-A signs with Germany's Viva to launch channel

MILAN — Viacom music channel MTV Italia has hit a sour note: Its carrier, Rete-A, has signed with Germany’s Viva to launch a Viva Italia channel.

Rete-A hopes linking with a Euro partner will help it qualify for a national broadcasting license. It was refused one earlier this year based on suspicions that it is controlled by a U.S. company; the Media Authority is still investigating.

Contractual matter

“The agreement we have with Rete-A will expire at the end of 2001,” MTV said Monday. “According to this agreement, only MTV can be aired on Rete-A frequencies and only MTV has the right to break the contract before the expiring date if the network is not allotted a national broadcasting permit.”

MTV Italia’s free 24-hour music channel was launched in 1997 on frequencies owned by minor national TV channel Rete-A, belonging to publisher Peruzzo.

Since then it has increased its programming in Italian to 70% of airtime and become the second most popular channel among 15- to 18-year-olds after Mediaset’s Italia 1.

Lucrative outlet

The music web averages 4.5 million viewers daily, and with annual revenues of 100 billion lire ($45 million), it is the second most profitable MTV channel among the 38 worldwide, after the U.S. service.

In October MTV started talks with national broadcaster TeleMontecarlo but a deal has not been signed.

Cologne-based Viva also has local-languages services in Poland and Switzerland.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More TV News from Variety