Sky-Italia Inks Bundle Deal With Fastweb

Italian satcaster teams with broadband provider to bundle its TV channel packages with Fastweb's Internet service.


ROME -- Italian satellite broadcaster Sky-Italia announced Tuesday that it had reached terms with Fastweb, the country's second leading Internet service provider, to bundle their services in a move aimed at ramping up Sky-Italia's competition with Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset broadcast giant.

The move means that the nearly 200 channels available from Sky-Italia, News Corp's Italy subsidiary, will become available as a package deal with services from ISP Fastweb's broadband services at a discount price. The deal would give Sky-Italia increased penetration despite antitrust rules that restrict its broadcasting reach because of its monopoly position in the Italian satellite market.

The deal also increases interaction between the television and Internet sectors, which, until now, have remained mostly separate in Italy, unlike in many other markets.

"With this agreement, [Sky-Italia and Fastweb] put together their best technologies, the most prized content and the most efficient services to create something unique," Laura Ciolo, Sky-Italia's chief operating officer said in a statement.

The new service, called Home Pack, will become available to customers starting Feb. 14, the companies said.