Mediaset wants 15% of Italy's pay TV market

Berlusconi-controlled broadcaster has 5-year target

ROME -- Mediaset said it wants to own 15% of the Italian pay television market within five years, a development that would represent a dramatic growth curve for the broadcast giant and likely intensify its rivalry with News Corp. subsidiary Sky-Italia.

At the start of this year, Mediaset, Italy's largest private terrestrial broadcaster, owned just 3% of an Italian pay TV sector dominated by Sky-Italia. But the two companies have since been on a collision course, with Mediaset chief financial officer Marco Giordani predicting that his company will start to provide more competition to Sky-Italia.

Giordani told Italian journalists the company is prepared to spend heavily on project development, the acquisition of programming and advertising to achieve that end. He did not go into specifics.

Mediaset, which controls three of seven national terrestrial networks, is controlled by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
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