×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

No. 32: Mediaset

Milan, Italy

Revenue: $2.146 billion

Profit: $385 million

Silvio Berlusconi not only won Italy’s May elections to again become prime minister, but the media mogul was further allowed to maintain control of his empire, Mediaset.

For years, Berlusconi has been dogged by conflict-of-interest claims, which he faces as (majority) owner of the nation’s largest broadcasting company as well as now being de facto chief of Italy’s public broadcaster RAI as part of his responsibility as national leader. In the wake of the election, a forced sale of Berlusconi’s media holdings was averted — at least for the time being.

During the drawn-out political battle and in recent months, Mediaset has strengthened its position over pubcaster RAI in terms of audience share and revenue. Flagship channel Canale5 led the Italian ratings race through most of the 2000-20001 season, beating RAI1 for the first time in five years, with a 24.7% share overall and 25.8% in primetime.

Mediaset revenues in 2000 rose to 4.57 trillion lira ($2.146 billion), as did net profits.

Led by Berlusconi’s son Piersilvio and a small group of faithful managers, including prexy Fedele Confalonieri, the group has started banking more heavily on inhouse production of TV drama and reality shows, including “Grande Fratello,” the Italo version of “Big Brother,” which was the TV coup of the season with its final episode share exceeding 60%.

“Digital interactive services will be the future, but our three free TV channels will remain our core business, the rest is just an additional territory,” Confalonieri said, confirming Mediaset’s strategy to focus on free TV and stay away from pay TV.

More Biz

  • Kevin Tsujihara

    Kevin Tsujihara Out as Warner Bros. Chief Amid Sexual Impropriety Scandal

    Kevin Tsujihara has resigned his post as chairman-CEO of Warner Bros. following an investigation into his relationship with actress Charlotte Kirk and allegations he used his clout to help her find work at the studio. In a statement, Tsujihara said he realized “my continued leadership could be a distraction and an obstacle to the company’s [...]

  • TV Ad Sales Upfronts

    NBCUniversal, Sky Make Joint Ad Offering as TV Upfront Looms

    NBCUniversal and Sky PLC will offer joint packages of advertising services, a new effort to monetize the European satellite broadcaster, which was purchased by parent Comcast Corp. for $39 billion last year. Advertisers will be able to reach customers in sundry international markets as well as the United States, using inventory across NBCU and Sky [...]

  • Robert Iger and Rupert Murdochcredit: Disney

    Wall Street Applauds as Disney Nears Finish Line on Fox Acquisition

    Wall Street is rooting for Disney as the media giant reaches the finish line this week in its 15-month quest to acquire most of Rupert Murdoch’s film and TV empire. Fox shareholders, on the other hand, are being a little more cautious. Disney is poised to close the $71.3 billion deal that took many twists [...]

  • Sony Music Names Amanda Collins Head

    Sony Music Names Amanda Collins Global Head of Corporate Communications

    Amanda Collins has been named executive vice president and global head of corporate communications for Sony Music Entertainment, effective immediately, it was announced today by CEO Rob Stringer. According to the announcement, in this role she will be responsible for the company’s global internal and external communications strategy and its implementation around the world, working [...]

  • Trocadero

    Philadelphia’s Iconic Trocadero Theatre to Close, Owner Confirms (EXCLUSIVE)

    After several days of rumors and a last-minute attempt by local promoters to save it, Philadelphia’s Trocadero Theatre — part of the city’s entertainment skyline since 1870 — is closing at the end of May, owner Joanna Pang confirms to Variety. The last of the city’s mid-sized independent live venues, the 1,200-capacity Chinatown performance palace [...]

  • FilMart: China's Times Vision Steps Into

    FilMart: Arthouse Distributor Times Vision Steps Into Sales (EXCLUSIVE)

    This year’s FilMart marks the international sales debut of Beijing-based distributor Times Vision, which brings to Hong Kong a slate led by crime thriller “Savage” and animated feature “Nezha.” The company will be presenting nine live action films, including one documentary, and seven animated titles. Times Vision is led by CEO Nathan Hao, who co-founded [...]

  • Kyle MasseyDDJF Costume for a Cause

    Kyle Massey Sued for Allegedly Sending Explicit Photos, Texts to Minor

    Former “That’s So Raven” star Kyle Massey is being sued for allegedly sending explicit photo, texts, and videos to a 13-year-old girl, court documents filed Friday show. The complaint is for intentional infliction of emotional distress, harmful matter sent with intention of seducing a minor, attempting to commit a lewd act with a minor, and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content