RAI immersing itself in the Bible

Satellite unit will air constant stream of readers

ROME -- The Bible will go primetime (and every other time) in Italy in October, when state broadcaster RAI's satellite unit RAISat will dedicate seven days and six nights straight to reading the book, from Genesis to Revelations.

The unusual programming decision, which will involve dozens of readers and will be transmitted simultaneously on the Internet and updated by mobile text messages, will have an introduction by Pope Benedict XVI.

RAI did not say why it decided to dedicate 160 consecutive hours to reading the Bible on RAISat, a network that usually carries entertainment fare like "Late Show With David Letterman." The network is available to the 4.4 million subscribers of News Corp. unit Sky Italia, plus anyone who turns to the RAISat site or signs up for the text message service.

Broadcasts start Oct. 5.