Mediaset: Bulk of program coin to go to inhouse prod’n

Costanzo wants more dramas, fewer films

MILAN — Within two years, Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster, Mediaset, hopes to invest 70% of its programming budget in inhouse TV drama production and to earmark only 30% for acquiring foreign films.

That is the goal of Maurizio Costanzo, the newly appointed president of Mediaset’s unit Mediatrade.

“This year we will invest over 1 trillion lire ($560 million) for programming, 70% of which is earmarked for acquiring film rights and the rest for production. But in two years’ time, we want to reverse this and use most of our budget for production,” Costanzo told newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore in his first interview since he took up his post.

Under the umbrella

He heads the umbrella structure that unifies all Mediaset TV acquisitions, sales and production activities.

“I want to reduce the number of films our three channels broadcast in primetime and to increase TV drama. Our flagship channel, Canale5, will air locally produced TV programs three evenings each week, while we’ll cut down the number of films and variety shows,” he said.

Costanzo said that to improve local production, Mediaset is investing in a new TV school, where he hopes to work with Italian actor-helmer Gigi Proietti, and in a data bank for the entertainment sector, including talents and scripts.

The relationship between Mediatrade and Mediaset’s film unit Medusa will also be strengthened, he said.