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Telecom Italia closes in on Mediaset deal

MediasetTelecom Italia (TIM) has confirmed that it is in talks with Mediaset about a new deal that would see it acquire Mediaset content to provide to subscribers of its Timvision subscribers.

The TIM board approved by majority vote moves by the company’s management to finalise a “new and comprehensive multi-year agreement” with Mediaset to bring the latter’s linear channels, movies, TV series and sports news content to its platform. The agreement is envisaged coming into foruce from hext year.

TIM customers will be able to access Mediaset linear and on-demand content via its set-top boxes, smart TVs, the web or its mobile app.

The agreement will replace the pair’s current distribution deal.

The move brings closer a likely settlement of the long-running dispute between Mediaset and TIM’s main shareholder Vivendi ahead of a planned court hearing on December 19.

According to Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore, Mediaset wants to settle with Vivendi before signing the deal with TIM. The agreement will also be between the broadcaster and TIM rather than between Mediaset and the JV planned between the telco and Vivendi’s pay TV unit Canal+, according to the paper.

TIM’s board also amended its approval of the planned JV with Vivendi-owned Canal+, confirming it as a ‘related-party’ transaction in view of regulator CONSOB’s ruling that TIM is effectively controlled by Vivendi – a ruling that TIM is challenging.