Mediaset signed an agreement for sharing content with Sky Italia


MILAN (Reuters) – The broadcast group Mediaset announced on Friday that it has reached an agreement of sharing of content with the Italian subsidiary of the giant british pay-tv Sky, which opens the way to possible alliances that are larger in scope between the two competing groups.

This agreement is signed so that the activity of pay-tv Mediaset in difficulty seeks to renew its economic model and that, in general, broadcasters are refining their strategies to resist competition from providers of online video such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX).

Mediaset said in a statement that the agreement would allow him to distribute the Movie channels, and TV shows from its subsidiary pay-tv Premium on the platform of the satellite Sky Italia.

For its part, Sky Italia will be able to use the platform of pay-TV digital of Mediaset Premium to provide its own services and channels, said the group controlled by the family of the ex-president of the Council Silvio Berlusconi in a press release.

On Thursday, Sky Italia has entered into a long-term partnership with the specialist from the optical fiber Open Fiber, enabling it to offer a TV service on the internet in Italy.

The subsidiary Premium Mediaset, with less than two million subscribers, is struggling to make profitable the heavy investments necessary for the rights of the Champions League and football matches Italian Serie A, and has gradually lost market share to the benefit of Sky, its main competitor.

The broadcaster Italian had signed an agreement by which Vivendi (PA:VIV) had to redeem Premium. But the French group was quickly brought to an end in July 2016 to this agreement and Mediaset him for three billion euros of allowances.

Arnaud de Puyfontaine, chairman of the management board of Vivendi, has reaffirmed in Milan on 8 march that a compromise between the group of French media and Mediaset for their agreement aborted in the pay-tv “would be very relevant”.

Vivendi is the second largest shareholder of Mediaset, behind the family Berlusconi, with a turnout of 28.8%.

The question of the agreement with Vivendi has led Premium to a change of strategy to focus more towards the video on demand, relying less on the supply of sports content, the “premium”, which implies heavy investments.

“If you do not make alliances in the pay-tv service in order to enrich the content available to customers, other stakeholders, such as Netflix, will arrive on the market for you to swallow”, told Reuters a source close to the folder.

Mediaset said in its press release that the agreement also provided for an option to transfer to Sky Italia – between November and December of this year – the total control of a newly created company in which the assets of a technical, operational and maintenance of Premium would be transferred.

“The two groups ‘sniff’ to see if they get along well in view of future agreements,” adds the source.

(Giulia Segreti, Juliette Rouillon for the French service)

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