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Revs fall at Berlusconi’s Mediaset

Ad income drops 12%-13% in first half of 2009

MILAN — Advertising revenues for Mediaset, the private broadcaster controlled by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, fell by 12%-13% in the first half of 2009.

That is “in line or slightly better than the first quarter,” according to Berlusconi’s son and Mediaset VP Piersilvio.

Mediaset’s gross Italian television advertising revenues in the first quarter were e645.7 million ($911.1 million) while pay TV revenues were $101 million.

Berlusconi fils told reporters there was still “scant visibility” in the advertising market.

However, Giampaolo Rivano, asset manager at GestiRe, said the figures “were in line with expectations.”  “All media companies reached the bottom in ad revenue in the first quarter. They are expected to rise further in the next months,” he said.

Mediaset relies heavily on ad revenues, as its pay TV subscriber base is still relatively small at around 3.5 million.

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