SkyItalia turns first net profit

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ROME -- Sky Italia, the satellite television unit owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. turned its first-ever net profit and saw its subscriber base in Italy pass the 4 million mark, the company said Wednesday.

Officials also said the company is mulling a possible IPO, which could come as soon as the end of next year.

Sky has been expanding in the Italian TV market, signing cross-platform deals and aggressively marketing its satellite-only platform. As a result, the company is, on at least some fronts, becoming a viable competitor to broadcasting giant Mediaset and its state-owned rival RAI.

The company posted profits of €32 million ($42.2 million) for the year ending June 30. Since the company is privately held by News Corp., it is not required to report its results and News Corp. is not required to separate their numbers out from its results.

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