The Italian communications regulator as angrily rejected claims that it has caused the delay of News Corp’s planned entertainment channel Cielo.
On Monday channel manager Gary Davey said the launch of the terrestrial station had been postponed because the necessary authorisation had not been granted. News Corp is leasing multiplex capacity from Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso SpA.
The ministry said the comments from News Corp were an insult to the government and that the company had misunderstood the licensing process that includes a 60-day approval period. “The stated position announced on television seems to have content that denigrates the entire Italian administration,” the ministry said in a statement.
Cielo, meaning Sky in Italian, plans to challenge a free-to-air broadcasting market that is effectively split between Mediaset and the public broadcaster RAI.