Mediaset plans further expansion of DTT portfolio, sees strong premium growth

Italian media group Mediaset has launched its new free-to-air digital-terrestrial channel La5. The female-oriented channel will air local and international reality shows, TV series, films and dramas, including The Tudors, Privileged, Damages and Californication. An online catch-up service will also be available.

Mediaset also plans to launch an other new channel aimed at young male viewers with the working title Italia 2, along with a 24-hour news channel, by the end of this year.

Mediaset’s premium pay-TV revenues in Italy for the first quarter of 2010 amounted to €115.1m, up 59.5% year-on-year. As of 31 March 2010, there were around 4.1 million active cards in the market, compared with around 3.3 million at the same point of the previous year.

In Italy Mediaset posted a net profit of €65.2m for the quarter, up from €47.4m a year earlier, on revenues of €907.9m, up 14.5%. Globally, the group turned in revenues of €1.1194bn for the quarter, up from €952.4m in 2009. Pre-tax profit was €123.4m, up from €77.1m. The company said it expected to see growth of over 5% in the Italian ad market this year, as well as growth in Spanish subsidiary Telecinco’s ad sales.

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