Italy's RCS makes TV move


ROME -- Italy's RCS Media Group said Thursday it is making a significant push into television broadcasting with a $21 million deal to acquire four satellite channels carried by Sky Italia, a unit of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

The channels, which are being sold by local broadcaster Digifin, are niche broadcasters Jimmy, which broadcasts classic films and old U.S. sitcoms; fishing and hunting channel Caccia e Pesca; the Sailing Channel; and Planet, which specializes in programs dedicated to hobbies.

Sector analysts speculate that RCS may be gearing up for more acquisitions in the future.

RCS Media is one of Italy's largest media companies, but until now it has had a limited television presence. The company owns Corriere della Sera, the country's largest newspaper; La Gazzetta dello Sport, the country's leading sports-related publication,;the mass distributed free newspaper City;the country's top book publisher; a dozen nationally distributed magazines; and a collection of radio networks.

Aside from confirming the deal, RCS declined comment.