Speculation is mounting that the Italian public broadcaster RAI will not renew its carriage contract with satcaster Sky Italia when it expires in June. It seems likely that prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset group will follow suit.
Both are RAI and Mediaset are partners in the Tivu free-to-air satellite platform and it is surely no coincidence that June has been slated for the project’s launch. Tivu will use the Irdeto conditional access system as opposed to the NDS system installed in Sky Italia’s 4.7 million receivers.
With neither a spare smart card slot in the Sky Italia set-tops or the availability of a separate conditional access module for NDS’ VideoGuard CA, Sky Italia viewers will be forced to return to terrestrial reception.