You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Berlusconi-Murdoch battle heats up

War of words intensifies as DTT decision nears

ROME — The battle between Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset TV and Rupert Murdoch’s Italo satcaster Sky Italia is heating up in the countdown to an imminent European Commission decision on allowing News Corp. access to Italy’s digital TV field that would challenge Berlusconi’s DTT supremacy.

Mediaset chairman Fedele Confalonieri and Sky Italia chief executive Tom Mockridge have been trading bitter barbs, with Confalonieri charging that Sky has been playing the “victim” of a political conspiracy while enjoying a “totally dominant position,” and Mockridge countering that Mediaset must decide whether to consider Sky “a monopolist or a competitor,” according to Italian press reports Thursday.

Analysts consider the unprecented level of animosity as confirming indications that News Corp. will indeed be allowed by the EU to bid for Italian digital TV assets, entering a booming market led by Mediaset.

The crucial decision, originally expected by mid-April, is now in final stages with EU commissioner Joaquin Almunia quoted as saying he is “considering how to revise” the current rules keeping Sky Italia on satellite.

Sky Italia, which has 4.7 million subs, has been suffering regulatory setbacks imposed by the Italian government, headed by Berlusconi, such as a pay TV advertising cap and a VAT tax hike.

Mediaset’s growing DTT pay TV service has 4.1 million customers, but is much cheaper and generates about one-fifth of Sky Italia’s revenues, which totalled roughly $3.7 billion in 2009.

More TV

  • EuropaCorp Sells French TV Production Unit

    Luc Besson's EuropaCorp Sells French TV Production Unit for $13 Million

    ROME — The battle between Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset TV and Rupert Murdoch’s Italo satcaster Sky Italia is heating up in the countdown to an imminent European Commission decision on allowing News Corp. access to Italy’s digital TV field that would challenge Berlusconi’s DTT supremacy. Mediaset chairman Fedele Confalonieri and Sky Italia chief executive Tom Mockridge […]

  • Eminem & Skylar Grey Perform 'Walk

    Eminem and Skylar Grey Perform 'Walk on Water,' 'Stan,' 'Love The Way You Lie' on 'Saturday Night Live' (Watch)

    ROME — The battle between Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset TV and Rupert Murdoch’s Italo satcaster Sky Italia is heating up in the countdown to an imminent European Commission decision on allowing News Corp. access to Italy’s digital TV field that would challenge Berlusconi’s DTT supremacy. Mediaset chairman Fedele Confalonieri and Sky Italia chief executive Tom Mockridge […]

  • 'Saturday Night Live' Addresses Al Franken

    'Saturday Night Live' Addresses Al Franken Sexual Assault Allegations: 'This is Bad' (Watch)

    ROME — The battle between Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset TV and Rupert Murdoch’s Italo satcaster Sky Italia is heating up in the countdown to an imminent European Commission decision on allowing News Corp. access to Italy’s digital TV field that would challenge Berlusconi’s DTT supremacy. Mediaset chairman Fedele Confalonieri and Sky Italia chief executive Tom Mockridge […]

  • Chance The Rapper Debuts Thanksgiving Song

    Chance The Rapper Debuts Thanksgiving Song, Sings 'Come Back Barack' on 'Saturday Night Live' (Watch)

    ROME — The battle between Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset TV and Rupert Murdoch’s Italo satcaster Sky Italia is heating up in the countdown to an imminent European Commission decision on allowing News Corp. access to Italy’s digital TV field that would challenge Berlusconi’s DTT supremacy. Mediaset chairman Fedele Confalonieri and Sky Italia chief executive Tom Mockridge […]

  • 'Saturday Night Live' Spies on Meeting

    'Saturday Night Live' Spies on a Meeting Between Donald Trump Jr and Julian Assange (Watch)

    ROME — The battle between Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset TV and Rupert Murdoch’s Italo satcaster Sky Italia is heating up in the countdown to an imminent European Commission decision on allowing News Corp. access to Italy’s digital TV field that would challenge Berlusconi’s DTT supremacy. Mediaset chairman Fedele Confalonieri and Sky Italia chief executive Tom Mockridge […]

  • Lena Dunham

    Lena Dunham Apologizes for Defending 'Girls' Writer Accused of Sexual Assault

    ROME — The battle between Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset TV and Rupert Murdoch’s Italo satcaster Sky Italia is heating up in the countdown to an imminent European Commission decision on allowing News Corp. access to Italy’s digital TV field that would challenge Berlusconi’s DTT supremacy. Mediaset chairman Fedele Confalonieri and Sky Italia chief executive Tom Mockridge […]

  • David Cassidy'Once In A Lifetime' concert

    David Cassidy Hospitalized With Organ Failure

    ROME — The battle between Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset TV and Rupert Murdoch’s Italo satcaster Sky Italia is heating up in the countdown to an imminent European Commission decision on allowing News Corp. access to Italy’s digital TV field that would challenge Berlusconi’s DTT supremacy. Mediaset chairman Fedele Confalonieri and Sky Italia chief executive Tom Mockridge […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content