Mediaset’s pay-TV service to lift ad downturn gloom

Italian broadcaster Mediaset is set to announce that revenues from its pay-DTT service Mediaset Premium increased by 85% year-on-year during the first half of 2008.

Speaking at the presentation of Mediaset’s programme schedule, deputy chairman Piersilvio Berlusconi said the group’s pay-TV package had reached more than 3.5 million active smartcards. He said that over 2.2 million would expire this month but added that he was confident they will be renewed.

The Italian broadcaster expects to report a 12-13% reduction in advertising revenues for the first half of the year, Berlusconi said.