ROME — Rupert Murdoch’s satcaster Sky Italia is launching Sky Arte HD, Italy’s first channel dedicated to art and culture, on Nov. 1.

Sky Arte is touted as a showcase for Italy’s past and present heritage covering literature, photography, festivals, music, film, digital arts, graphics, painting, sculpture, design and other contempo art forms.

Its aim is to provide a media platform for artists, institutions and events, such as the Venice Art Biennale and Venice Film Festival, to get more visibility nationally and internationally, in partnership with the world’s main art-themed TV stations.

Sky Arte fills a gap in the sked. RAI, the country’s culturally deficient pubcaster, concentrates on general entertainment, and Franco-German cultural channel ARTE does not air in Italy, something which many in the arts have often bemoaned.

“Sky Arte HD is the latest example of how Sky Italia contributes to the development and the growth of the country,” said Sky Italia CEO Andrea Zappia.

Zappia added that the channel will focus on original Italian productions from young and talented artists who will be given the opportunity to experiment with new formats and languages.

It is likely to play well with Sky Italia’s roughly 5 million more upscale viewers.