Mediaset, RAI budget cuts produce protest

APT, produces file case against pubcaster

VENICE — Producers launched Sunday a protest at the dramatic cuts in TV production budgets by Italy’s dominant broadcaster Mediaset and pubcaster RAI.

Sergio Silva, prexy of TV producers org the APT, revealed it had filed a case against the pubcaster in a Rome tribunal, alleging that RAI had not invested the 10% of ad revs in local production demanded by law.

He said APT and film producers association Anica asked the Ministry for Communications to force RAI and media mogul and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset to the negotiating table.

Cut expected to be 30%

“We want RAI to respect the law, but the problem is much larger and very serious and includes Mediaset and our government,” Silva said, speaking at the new Venice Intl. TV Festival. “We are not backed by the minister of communications, unlike other European countries. We do not even know precise financial data because RAI and Mediaset, which dominate the market, haven’t released the figures for 2001 and 2002. But we believe the 2002 budget will be cut by 30% compared to 2000.

“In 1996 Italy made 200 hours of locally produced TV drama; in 2000 we reached 600 hours, beating France from the first time and ranking fourth in Europe for production after the U.K., Germany and Spain. But in 2001 we did not see any increase in local production. and the hours look set to fall this year.”

Giorgio Capitani, prexy of directors association ART; Franco Scardamaglia, prexy of scriptwriters association Sact; Francesco Manfio, head of the Cartoons Italia association; and many independent producers were in Venice to support the campaign.

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