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Italian television in the multichannel age: assessing change and continuity in industry structure, programming and consumption

D'Arma, Alessandro (2010) Italian television in the multichannel age: assessing change and continuity in industry structure, programming and consumption. Convergence: the international journal of research into new media technologies, 16 (2). pp. 201-215. ISSN 1354-8565

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1354856509357685

Abstract

It is only in the last few years that multichannel television has really made inroads in Italy. This article assesses the nature and extent of change that has taken place in Italian television in the move from a handful of terrestrial channels to hundreds of digital channels. It considers emerging trends in terms of ownership, revenue models, programming and consumption. It is argued that Italian television has undergone substantial change in recent years, the rise of News Corporation’s Sky Italia and the growing centrality of pay-TV to the economics of the industry being the main novelties. However, there are also important elements of continuity. Mediaset and RAI’s established terrestrial channels remain the only truly mass-audience media in Italy. Judging from current viewing patterns and in light of regulatory conditions and economic considerations, they are likely to remain so even in the all-digital scenario of the near future. In the longer term, however, fundamental change may also occur at this level, the analysis pointing in particular to the risk for public broadcaster RAI to become increasingly marginal in future, given the political and economic constraints it currently faces.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Media, Arts and Design, School of
ID Code:8645
Deposited On:30 Sep 2010 16:34
Last Modified:30 Sep 2010 16:34

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