Mediaset S.p.A., known as Gruppo Mediaset in Italian, is an Italian-based mass media company which is the largest commercial broadcaster in the country. Founded in the 1970s by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and still controlled today with a 38.6% stake by his family holding company Fininvest, the group competes primarily against the public broadcaster and market leader RAI, La7, and News Corporation's Sky Italia.
Mediaset's headquarters are in Milan, Lombardy. Many of its studios are located in the Milano 2 area of Segrate, a municipality bordering Milan, where broadcasts of local station TeleMilano (now airing nationally as Mediaset's Canale 5) began in 1978. After merging with various local broadcaster to form the Canale 5 syndication, much production was moved to Cologno Monzese, where the infrastructure of the former Telealtomilanese was present. The company currently has three main television production centres, in Segrate, Cologno Monzese and Rome.
Due to their proximity to (or encirclement by) Italy, Albania, Croatia, Switzerland, Malta, San Marino, the Vatican City and Slovenia also receive Mediaset broadcasts.
In addition to its domestic television interests, Mediaset also operates a series of news, entertainment and sport websites; holds 50.1% of the Spanish broadcasting firm Mediaset España Comunicación; and heads a consortium which owns the television production house Endemol.
Holdings in Spain are through Mediaset's 50.1% stake in Mediaset España Comunicación.
Free-to-air channels in Italy
HD and +1 channels in Italy
- Canale 5 +1: time shifted version of Canale 5
- Canale 5 HD: HD version of Canale 5
- Italia 1 +1: time shifted version of Italia 1
- Italia 1 HD: HD version of Italia 1
- Rete 4 +1: time shifted version of Rete 4
- Rete 4 HD: HD version of Rete 4
Pay-tv channels in Italy
Free-to-air channels in Spain
HD and +1 channels in Spain
Other foreign channels
A consortium headed by Mediaset, and also consisting of Goldman Sachs and John de Mol's Cyrte Group, acquired Dutch television production company Endemol in 2007.
Europa 7 lawsuit
In January 2008, the European Court of Justice ruled that the TV frequencies used by Mediaset to broadcast Rete 4 were shared out unfairly. They should have been given to Europa 7, a competitor channel, the judges maintain, and Rete 4 should be broadcast via satellite instead. Although the Italian Council of State, the highest court on administrative matters, has confirmed that the Italian government should abide by this European ruling, Rete 4 continues its operation on analog frequencies and on DVB-T.
In 30 July 2008, Mediaset filed a lawsuit against Google for €500 million (US$779 million dollars) with the charges of copyright infringement. The company stated that 325 hours worth of material was uploaded to YouTube and the result was the loss of 315,672 viewing days and ad revenue.
SKY Italia lawsuit
On September 16, 2009, SKY Italia (fully owned by News Corporation) filed a lawsuit to the Court of Milan, Italy, against Reti Televisive Italiane and Publitalia '80 (both owned by Mediaset) for a violation of Article 82 of European Treaty that regulates free economic competition between companies, in particular for refusing to allow SKY Italia to purchase advertising on the three main Mediaset television channels (Canale 5, Italia 1 and Rete 4), exercising Article 700 of the Italian Civil Procedural Code who permit to require an urgent action. Mediaset has rejected the charge of antitrust violations, stating that in 2009 it had broadcast SKY Italia commercials 3107 times on its channels, whereas SKY Italia has always refused to broadcast Mediaset commercials.
- ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2010". Mediaset. Retrieved 2011-03-30.
- ^ "Offices". Mediaset. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- ^ "Endemol to apply for de-listing after consortium takes 99.54 pct of shares". AFX News (Forbes). August 6, 2007. Retrieved August 11, 2009.
- ^ Fonte, Giuseppe (May 31, 2008). "Italy court rejects Mediaset appeal to EU ruling". Reuters.
- ^ Lawson, Stephen (July 30, 2008). "Mediaset Files EUR500 Million Suit Vs Google's YouTube". IDG (The New York Times). Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- ^ "Italian Media Company Sues YouTube". Dow Jones Newswires (CNNMoney.com). July 30, 2008. Retrieved September 13, 2008.
- ^ "News Corporation’s Sky Italia Files Lawsuit Against Mediaset Companies For Antitrust Violations". News Corporation press release. September 16, 2009. Retrieved September 16, 2009.
- ^ "Sky porta Mediaset in tribunale" (in Italian). Il Sole 24 Ore. September 17, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
- ^ "Mediaset respinge accuse infondate del concorrente SKY". Mediaset Group press release. September 16, 2009. Retrieved September 16, 2009.
- TGCOM, an Italian news website owned by Mediaset