The World: Rome - RAI announces plans to launch new satellite service

RAI, the state-owned Italian public service broadcaster, has announced that it is to launch a new satellite platform in conjunction with the commercial broadcaster Mediaset.

The new platform, called TivuSat, will be free of charge and play host to around 20 channels, including a number of high-profile existing digital and traditional free-to-air channels.

The broadcaster has said that the move is aimed at helping to drive the switch from analogue to digital TV in Italy, however the initiative has come under scrutiny from some sources who believe that a partnership between RAI and the Silvio Berlusconi-owned Mediaset has been created to counter competition from Sky Italia.