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Mediaset chief mulls international alliance and football deal

Italian broadcaster Mediaset’s board has confirmed Fedele Confalonieri as chairman for the next three years, and Pier Silvio Berlusconi as vice-president and CEO.

Pier Silvio Berlusconi

The Mediaset board was elected on Wednesday by the company’s annual shareholders meeting. The company’s executive committee comprises Confalonieri, Berlusconi, Marco Giordani, Gina Nieri, Niccolo ‘Querci and Stefano Sala.

The 15-strong board of directors meanwhile comprises the executive committee plus Marina Berlusconi, Danilo Pellegrino, Carlo Secchi, Marina Brogi, Francesca Mariotti and Andrea Canepa from the majority list presented by leading shareholder Fininvest.

Speaking at the shareholders meeting, Berlusconi said that Mediaset was working on a plan to forge an alliance with other European broadcasters, with it taking a leading role.

Berlusconi said that the plan was still at a very early stage and no negotiations had taken place.

He ruled out working with Vivendi, still a Mediaset shareholder, with which Mediaset has had a spectacular falling out over the last two years after the French group pulled out of a plan that would have seen it take control of the Italian broadcaster’s pay TV arm.

Berlusconi said that Mediaset no longer saw Vivendi as a partner.

The Mediaset CEO also said he was engaged in talks with Perform Group and Sky to enable Mediaset Premium – the group’s pay TV unit – to offer some football as part of its offering. He said that such a deal would have to be based on securing retransmission rights without any guaranteed minimum to make financial sense for the group.