Television in Italy

Television in Italy was introduced in 1939, when the first experimental broadcasting began. However, this lasted for a very short time: when fascist Italy entered World War II in 1940 all the transmission were interrupted, and were resumed in earnest only nine years after the end of the conflict, in 1954. There are two main national television organisations responsible for most viewing: state-owned RAI Radiotelevisione italiana (with three generalist channels, two semi-generalist channels and nine thematic channels), funded by a yearly mandatory licence fee and Mediaset (owner of generalist stations Canale 5, Italia 1 and Rete 4, eight thematic channels and a pay-tv with cinema, tv series, documentaries, sport and children channels), commercial network that also holds 50.1% of the Spanish broadcasting firm Mediaset España Comunicación and heads a consortium which owns the television production house Endemol. Currently La7 is considered as the third major network in Italy, it is owned by Telecom Italia Media, the media branch of the telephone company Telecom Italia, which also owns 51% of MTV Italia adn other TV and radio channels. While many other networks are also present, both nationally and locally, RAI and Mediaset together, with their six traditional ex analogue stations plus a number of new free to air digital channels, reach almost 70% of the TV ratings, as detailed further below. Apart from these three free to air companies, News Corporation's satellite pay tv platform Sky Italia is increasing in viewing and shares, reaching almost 10% of the tv ratings (in 2009 it was also allowed to enter the digital terrestrial market through free station Cielo).

As with all the other media of Italy, the Italian television industry is widely considered both inside and outside the country to be overtly politicized. The public broadcaster RAI is, unlike the BBC which is controlled by an independent trust, under direct control of the government. According to a December 2008 poll, only 24% of Italians trust television news programmes, compared unfavourably to the British rate of 38%, making Italy one of only three examined countries where online sources are considered more reliable than television ones for information.

Read more about Television In Italy:  Digital Terrestrial Television, Satellite Television, Cable Television, Pay Television Providers, Most Viewed Channels, See Also

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