In Italy, Technology Is Leading to a TV Transformation
Posted in: Government & Policy at 29/05/2012 18:58
When Italians said good riddance to Silvio Berlusconi, it turned out that they were ready for more than just a political change. Since Mr. Berlusconi stepped down from his post as prime minister last year, returning to life as a media mogul, the digital era finally seems to have dawned in Italy.
Mr. Berlusconi's television company, Mediaset, an analog-era powerhouse that continued to dominate the Italian media scene well into his 17-year sojourn in or near the prime minister's villa, has suffered greatly since he left office for the third and presumably final time. Advertising has fallen, earnings have plunged and more Italians are tuning in to alternatives like Sky Italia, the satellite television broadcaster owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.
Perhaps even more striking is the way Italians are turning to the Web. Italy remains well behind most other West European countries in the reach of the Internet, in part because of policies that Mr. Berlusconi pursued to protect his business empire, rivals and critics say. But the spirit of change in Rome, ushered in by Mr. Berlusconi's successor, Mario Monti, seems to have awakened Italians to the potential of the Web to make a difference.
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