Mediaset is set to leave the Italian pay Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) market in June by shuttering its Mediaset Premium service, leaving Sky as the only provider of pay services on terrestrial. Mediaset plans to transfer its channels and its customers onto its OTT offering, Mediaset Infinity, which will continue to be offered at €7.99 a month under the combined moniker of Premium Infinity. This caps a tumultuous year for Mediaset, which began with the loss in June 2018 of the main package of rights to Italy’s top soccer division, Serie A, to Sky and the entry of OTT sports service DAZN, which picked up the smaller package previously owned by Sky. Mediaset has seen a big decline in pay TV customers as a result; Ampere consumer surveys suggest that uptake of its soccer channel, Mediaset Calcio, which also lost the lucrative UEFA Champions League rights to Sky, has plummeted, despite deals that offered Calcio subscribers cut-price access to DAZN. In contrast, Sky Sports and Sky Calcio channels have seen a strong increase in uptake.
Mediaset’s exit from traditional pay TV distribution will leave Sky as the only premium broadcast provider with offers on both satellite and terrestrial TV. The only other notable operator is Vodafone, which mainly resells Sky packages through IPTV (Internet protocol TV). Sky is now in a good position to capitalise on Mediaset’s misfortune and cement itself as the pay TV home for football in Italy.