Mediaset SpA (MS.MI) will offer on-demand TV through a new digital terrestrial decoder starting Nov. 20, as it boosts its pay-TV offering with two new movie channels and targets 4.5 million users next year in an increasingly competitive race with rival News Corp.'s (NWS) satellite unit Sky Italia.
[...] Mediaset has attempted to offset the structural decline in free-to-air TV and advertising revenue by betting on its pay-TV offer and aiming it at the lower end of the market, with a cheap mix of TV series, movies and soccer matches.
[...] Analysts agree that Mediaset's pay-TV offering may get a boost from the analog-to-digital switchover in the country and due to be completed in 2012. Rome-based research company ITMedia Consulting estimates that in 2011 almost 22 million households will be digital, with a penetration of 92%.
The Wall Street Journal, 19 November 2009
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