By Michela Ardizzoni, Chiara Ferrari
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Extra info for Beyond Monopoly: Globalization and Contemporary Italian Media (Critical Media Studies)
Was the refrain that punctuated his comments (Magliaro 2002). In a language evoking a reversal of the transcontinental journey made by hundreds of thousands of Italians to Canada in the previous century, the arrival of RAI International offered the possibility of a reunion with the “seeds that were sown long ago”—the Italian diaspora reconstituted digitally (Magliaro 2002). ” While acknowledging that Canadians were currently served by the Telelatino Network, a national cable channel that broadcast 55 percent RAI programming at the time (the other 45 percent of programming was in Spanish), as well as numerous local broadcasters that carried portions of RAI programming from Satellite sources, Magliaro lamented that Italian Canadians remained divided from Italy and the “Italian brotherhood” by the small-minded self-interest of Canadian broadcasters and a wall of short-sighted government regulation enacted in the distant past.
Once the position of Rete4 was legalised through the promulgation of the Gasparri Law in May 2004, DTT came to be seen by the center-right government as serving another strategic goal. Now DTT was seen as the technology through which national free-to-air terrestrial broadcasters (Mediaset in particular) could mount a challenge to Rupert Murdoch’s dominance of the Italian pay-TV market. Since its launch in July 2003, Sky Italia had made considerable progress. In particular, the pay-TV operator had acted effectively to eliminate the phenomenon of illegal viewing by replacing the old Telepiù encryption system with the more secure conditional access system of News Corporation’s own subsidiary, NDS.
Importantly, as in the previous year, Sky Italia’s set-top-boxes were excluded by the subsidy. Bruised by Mediaset’s raid into its own territory, Sky Italia had started lobbying the Italian center-right government to extend the subsidy to its set-top boxes. In May 2005, then, having failed to convince the government, Sky Italia filed a complaint to the EC against Italy on the ground that the subsidy was violating the EU-enshrined principle of technological neutrality and thus distorting competition in the television market.