Music net will compete against popular MTV Italia

MILAN — Germany’s Viva Italia music channel has inked a deal with Italy’s Rete A for a 5% stake in the Milan-based broadcaster now and a further 55% in October.

Viva pacted with Rete A, owned by publisher Peruzzo, even though the broadcaster was refused a national broadcasting license by Italy’s Authority for Communications last year. An appeal will go before Rome’s Regional Court.

Viva Italia said Wednesday that 70% of programs will be produced in Italy and the rest imported from Germany and dubbed into Italian.

Targeting 14- to 25-year-olds, the net will compete against MTV Italia.

Viva’s aim to become a major music channel in Italy will not be achieved easily. MTV Italia’s 24-hour music channel, launched in 1997, has become the second most popular channel among 15- to 18-year-olds after Mediaset’s Italia 1, averaging 4.5 million viewers daily and generating annual revenues of 100 billion lire ($45 million).

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