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A fact-based pact Sky Italia

FBC content goes to satcaster's news net

Sky Italia, the new pay TV satellite platform majority-owned by News Corp., has pacted with Euro producer Fact Based Communications in a three-year deal under which FBC will become a leading provider of programming for the platform’s Sky TG24 all-news channel.

The Sky Italia platform, created from the merger of Italy’s satellite operators Stream and Telepiu, is 80%-owned by News Corp., 20% by Telecom Italia. It will launch July 31.

Sky will offer more than 100 services with programming focusing on sports, movies, news, docs and kids programming.

Under terms of the agreement, FBC will develop and produce for Sky Italia a total of nine daily and weekly formats — ranging from talkshows and business mags to sports and entertainment programs — that will begin airing in September on Sky TG24. No financial details were disclosed.

Italy’s first all-news net to air 24 hours a day, Sky TG24 will be part of the basic PrimoSky offering, which will include 50 channels.

This agreement makes FBC the primary outside provider of factual programming to the Sky news channel and further strengthens the existing ties between FBC and News Corp.

Since October 2001 FBC has been providing programming to News Corp.-owned satcaster Star TV in Hong Kong.

Sky Italia CEO Tom Mockridge said the partnership between Sky and FBC “will help to enhance our overall offer and is designed to assist in making sure that our programming is well-targeted to the Italian-language audience.”

FBC TV prexy Mike Morrison said the company had built its reputation on “balanced and culturally sensitive news coverage that combines local context and global perspective, and the television programming we will be producing for Sky Italia will reflect that.”

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