Rai4 set to secure top EPG slot on Sky as Mediaset channels encrypt

MediasetSky in Italy is to give public broadcast channel Rai4 a prime spot on its EPG and is moving its own channels to other prime slots to replace Mediaset’s services following the latter’s decision to encrypt its channels from September 7.

Mediaset has decided to encrypt its channels after failing to secure what it views as acceptable terms from Sky to make them available as part of the satellite broadcaster’s service.

Mediaset’s channels – Retequattro, Canale 5 and Italia 1 – occupy channels 104, 105 and 106 of the Sky EPG. Sky’s decision to give the number four slot to Rai4 gives the pubcaster’s channel a big improvement in visibility on its platform.

With no sign of a last minute agreement between Mediaset and the pay TV operator, the dispute has given the public broadcaster an opportunity to improve the positioning of Rai4, which carries a mix of movies and series, even though Rai has also been in dispute with the satcaster over retransmission fees, according to multiple local reports.

Regulator ACGOM has ruled that Rai must make its channels available to all distribution providers but has not specified that this should be for free. The regulator said that Rai should strike a deal with Sky for equitable remuneration.

Rai4 has hitherto been available on channel 21 on the country’s DTT platform and on channel 10 on the TivùSat free-to-air satellite platform, but has not been carried by Sky.

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