Mediaset S.p.A., also known as Gruppo Mediaset in Italian, is an Italian-based mass media company which is the largest commercial broadcaster in the country. Founded in 1987 by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and still controlled today with a 38.6% stake by his family's holding company Fininvest, the group competes primarily against the public broadcaster RAI, the privately owned La7 and Sky plc's Sky Italia.

Mediaset's headquarters are in Milan, Lombardy. Many of its studios are located in the Milano 2 area of Segrate, a municipality bordering Milan, where broadcasts of local station TeleMilano (now airing nationally as Mediaset's Canale 5) began in 1978. After merging with various local broadcaster to form the Canale 5 syndication, much production was moved to Cologno Monzese, where the infrastructure of the former Telealtomilanese was present. The company currently has three main television production centres, in Milan (Segrate, Cologno Monzese) and Rome.[3]

Due to their proximity to Italy, Albania, Croatia, Switzerland, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, the Vatican City and Slovenia also receive Mediaset broadcasts.

In addition to its domestic television interests, Mediaset also operates a series of news, entertainment and sport websites; holds 50.1% of the Spanish broadcasting firm Mediaset España Comunicación; owns the film production company Medusa Film.

Mediaset S.p.A.
Società per azioni
Traded asBITMS
FTSE MIB Component
IndustryMass media
Founded15 December 1993
FounderSilvio Berlusconi
HeadquartersMilan, Italy
Key people
Pier Silvio Berlusconi CEO
ProductsFree-to-air and
television broadcasting
Television Production
RevenueIncrease €12.38 billion (2017)
Increase €4.92 billion (2017)
Increase €2.6 billion (2017)
Number of employees
Increase 9.312 (2017)


Beginnings in late 70s

Mediaset's story began in 1978, with Telemilano, a local Milan-based broadcaster that became Canale 5 two years later and began broadcasting nationally. Canale 5 was subsequently joined by Italia 1 (bought from the publishing group Rusconi in 1982) and Rete 4 (acquired from Arnoldo Mondadori Editore in 1984). Television area was called RTI and became established with three national analogue networks, supported by an advertising sales company, Publitalia '80, that exclusively collects advertising for all three channels, and two other companies, Videotime, that manages TV technology and production activities, and Elettronica Industriale that guarantees signal distribution through the management of the broadcasting infrastructure.

From late 90s to early 2000: the evolution

Branding the company under his own image and having prior experience with the cable broadcasting industry during his time in Milan, Berlusconi expanded into many media ventures such as television, film and radio industries; and in 1996, RTI, Videotime, Publitalia and Elettronica Industriale were brought together in a single group, Mediaset, which was then listed on the Milan stock exchange, opening up the company to both important institutional investors and private investors (around 300,000). In 1997, Mediaset expands outside Italy with the acquisition of a 25% stake in the Spanish broadcaster, Telecinco. In 1999, Mediaset Group expands its web-based activities with a television portal dedicated to Canale 5, Italia 1 and Retequattro and a daily online news service, is accessible from a range of media (internet, TV, radio, Mediavideo teletext and mobile phones).

In 2003, Mediaset increases its stake in Telecinco and becomes the major shareholder with 50.1% of the shares. The following year the Spanish TV company was listed on the Madrid stock exchange. In 2004, with the debut in Italy of digital terrestrial television, an innovative signal broadcasting system that uses standard aerials and a small set-top box. Mediaset launches Mediashopping, a shopping channel.

2005-2007: Pay-TV and Acquisitions

In 2005, the group launched Mediaset Premium, a pay digital terrestrial television service which offered live Serie A football, with a pre-paid card and without a subscription. Mediaset Premium also had a pay-per-view offer including films (including first TV-screenings), theatre and live events. In 2006, Mediaset launched Europe's first digital terrestrial Mobile TV network using DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcast Handheld) technology.

In 2007, Mediaset became a major network due to its international expansion and new acquisitions. In a consortium with Cyrte Fund and Goldman Sachs, they acquired from Telefonica a controlling interest in Endemol. The Dutch production company buys Medusa, Italy's leading film production and distribution company. In 2008, they reached an agreement regarding the acquisition of Taodue.

Mediaset decides to enter the Chinese market by obtaining the licence to sell advertisements for China Global Media which in October launched the sports channel China Sport Network, a consortium of seven regional broadcasters with an audience reach of 400 million viewers. Publieurope which sells international advertising for the channel; launching a new free Italian digital terrestrial channel, Iris, featuring auteur cinema, music, literature and theatre.

2008-2009: Expansion

In 2008, creation of Premium Gallery, a new digital terrestrial premium content offer available with a pre-paid card. Three new channels, Joi, Mya, Steel, where viewers can see exclusive previews of the best TV series and films from Time Warner and NBC-Universal. On July, the Gallery family is joined by the Disney Channel and Premium Calcio 24 kicks off. At 2008 end, the Premium Gallery offering further improved with the launch of Premium Fantasy, including four proposals dedicated to children and teenagers. In addition to Disney Channel and Disney Channel +1, the expanded offering includes: Playhouse Disney, Cartoon Network, Hiro.

In the same year, Telecinco enters the North American market with the acquisition of a 29.2% stake in Caribevision - a US broadcaster for the country's Spanish-speaking population - while a joint venture was established between Medusa Film and Taodue, leader in the production of quality TV dramas. The union of these two companies will lead to the creation of an Italian production unit which will compete with the main international majors.

In 2009, Mediaset sees the launch of new website.

Mediaset Premium will double its offer of cinema with the launch of Premium Cinema and the much anticipated re-launch of Studio Universal. On 20 November Mediaset Premium will launch a new feature: Premium-On-Demand, a digital library with 50 films, updated daily, and American TV series. Also 20 November Premium will also launch two features dedicated to the cinema: Premium Cinema Emotion and Premium Cinema Energy.

Publitalia'80 and Mondadori Pubblicità, stipulated an agreement for the realisation of a joint initiative aiming at gathering advertising on line. On the basis of this agreement, a new company was founded on 30 July owned jointly by Mediamond.

On 31 July Mediaset sees the launch of Tivù Sat, Italy's first free digital satellite platform, built by a company jointly owned by RAI (48.25%), Mediaset (48.25%) and Telecom Italia Media (3.5%). TivùSat is a complementary platform to the existing digital terrestrial platform, and is able to reach areas of the country not covered by the terrestrial networks.

On 18 December 2009 Mediaset S.p.A., the subsidiary Telecinco and Gruppo Prisa approved and signed an agreement that foresees, conditional upon determined conditions being met, the acquisition by Telecinco of a newly founded company which will include the company part of Cuatro and its shareholding of 22% in Digital Plus.


In 2010, the title News Mediaset is operational: an internal press agency that will provide images, news and services for all of Mediaset's news structures. Two free-to-air channels were launched: La5, dedicated to a mainly female audience; Mediaset Extra, dedicated to Mediaset channels' entertainment programmes from yesterday and today.

Mediaset Premium see the launch of Premium Cinema HD: previews of films in HD. From October, Premium will broadcast, using the on demand system films in 3D. To watch the films, viewers will need a 3D TV and a normal Premium On Demand HD decoder which, as well as providing a high definition signal, is also equipped to carry 3D.

The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (the Spanish antitrust commission), with a resolution dated 28 October 2010, authorised the acquisition by Gestevision Telecinco S.A. of exclusive control of Sociedad General De Television Cuatro S.A.U. through the purchase of 100% of its share capital, subordinate to certain conditions. Telecinco, having met the suspension conditions to which it was subjected, today acquired a 22% stake in "DTS Distribuidora de Televisión Digital SA" ("Digital+") and 100% of the share capital of "Four Television SAU" ("Sogecuatro"), holder, among other things, of the free-to-air channel "Cuatro". This operation resulted in the Mediaset Group becoming Spain?s biggest television operator.


Mediaset launched a new service called Premium Net TV, a new non-linear "over-the-top" TV system that offers films, TV series, cartoons, documentaries, football; in addition to all of the Mediaset channels' programmes of the last seven days and the entire offer can be seen also on a PC with the same quality as on TV. Premium Net TV is a completely open, independent network system, viewable with any Gold Stamp digital decoder and a broadband connection from any telephone carrier and it is included in the standard Mediaset Premium subscription, without any additional cost.

Mediaset launched four new channels on its digital terrestrial platform: BBC Knowledge and Discovery World that broadcast documentaries; while Premium Crime dedicated to enthusiasts of thrillers and detective stories and Premium Cinema Comedy to those who love both Italian and American light comedy.

Mediaset launched new three free-to-air channels: Me, in which Mediaset will reinforce its presence in the mail order sales sector with a new brand and a new approach; TgCom24, a new, live, free-to-air, all news channel, also available online in live streaming on the TgCom24 website, and on smartphones and tablets.

In November, Italian viewers can access Premium Play, a new TV service.


Mediaset launched a new service called Infinity, a new non-linear "over-the-top" TV system that offers films, TV series, cartoons, anime; in addition to all of the Mediaset channels' programmes.

Mediaset launched a new free-to-air channel: Top Crime.


Mediaset launched a two new free-to-air channel: 20 and Focus. Mediaset removed Mediaset HD Premium channels on 1 June 2018.


TV channels

Channel LCN on DVB-T Type Launched Description
Rete 4 4 free-to-air January 4, 1982 generalist
Canale 5 5 September 30, 1980 generalist
Italia 1 6 January 3, 1982 generalist
20 20 April 3, 2018 series TV and movies
Iris 22 November 30, 2007 series TV and movies
La5 30 May 12, 2010 female-oriented
Mediaset Extra 34 November 26, 2010 best Mediaset's series TV and shows
Focus 35 May 17, 2018 science, documentaries
Top Crime 39 June 1, 2013 crime's series TV and movies
Boing 40 November 20, 2004 child-oriented
Cartoonito 46 August 22, 2011 baby-oriented
TgCom24 51 November 11, 2011 all news
Italia 2 120 July 4, 2011 male-oriented

Radio channels

Channel Launched
R101 March 10, 1976
Radio 105 Network February 16, 1976
Virgin Radio Italia July 12, 2007
Radio Subasio 1976
Torre Mediaset
Mediaset Tower in Cologno Monzese (Milan)

Pay TV channels (Italy)

Pay TV movies in streaming (Italy)

  • Infinity

Other foreign channels


  • Medusa Film (only Italy)

External broadcasting services (outside Italia)

Production centres


  • TV production centre Cologno Monzese
  • TV production centre Segrate


  • TV production centre Palatino
  • TV production centre Helios
  • Drama Department - Via Aurelia Antica


According to a 2019 study in the American Economic Review, "individuals with early access to Mediaset all-entertainment content were more likely to vote for Berlusconi's party in 1994, when he first ran for office... we find that individuals exposed to entertainment TV as children were less cognitively sophisticated and civic-minded as adults, and ultimately more vulnerable to Berlusconi's populist rhetoric."[4]


Europa 7

In January 2008, the European Court of Justice ruled that the TV frequencies used by Mediaset to broadcast Rete 4 were shared out unfairly. They should have been given to Europa 7, a competitor channel, the judges maintain, and Rete 4 should be broadcast via satellite instead. Although the Italian Council of State, the highest court on administrative matters, has confirmed that the Italian government should abide by this European ruling, Rete 4 continues its operation on analog frequencies and on DVB-T.[5]


On 30 July 2008, Mediaset filed a lawsuit against Google for €500 million (US$779 million) charging copyright infringement. The company stated that 325 hours worth of material was uploaded to YouTube and the result was the loss of 315,672 viewing days and ad revenue.[6][7]

SKY Italia

On September 16, 2009, SKY Italia (fully owned by News Corporation) filed a lawsuit to the Court of Milan, Italy, against Reti Televisive Italiane and Publitalia '80 for a violation of Article 82 of European Treaty that regulates free economic competition between companies, in particular for refusing to allow SKY Italia to purchase advertising on the three main Mediaset television channels (Canale 5, Italia 1 and Rete 4),[8] exercising Article 700 of the Italian Civil Procedural Code who permit to require an urgent action.[9] Mediaset has rejected the charge of antitrust violations, stating that in 2009 it had broadcast SKY Italia commercials 3107 times on its channels, whereas SKY Italia has always refused to broadcast Mediaset commercials.[10]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Mediaset: Fininvest sale a quasi il 40% dei diritti di voto" (PDF) (in Italian). Fininvest. 13 December 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Vivendi owns 28.80% of the Mediaset share capital and 29.94% of the voting rights". Vivendi. 22 December 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Offices". Mediaset. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
  4. ^ Tesei, Andrea; Pinotti, Paolo; Durante, Ruben (2019). "The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV". American Economic Review. 109 (7): 2497–2530. doi:10.1257/aer.20150958. ISSN 0002-8282.
  5. ^ Fonte, Giuseppe (May 31, 2008). "Italy court rejects Mediaset appeal to EU ruling". Reuters.
  6. ^ Lawson, Stephen (July 30, 2008). "Mediaset Files EUR500 Million Suit Vs Google's YouTube". IDG. The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  7. ^ "Italian Media Company Sues YouTube". Dow Jones Newswires. July 30, 2008. Retrieved September 13, 2008.
  8. ^ "News Corporation's Sky Italia Files Lawsuit Against Mediaset Companies For Antitrust Violations". News Corporation press release. September 16, 2009. Retrieved September 16, 2009.
  9. ^ "Sky porta Mediaset in tribunale". Il Sole 24 Ore (in Italian). September 17, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  10. ^ "Mediaset respinge accuse infondate del concorrente SKY". Mediaset Group press release. September 16, 2009. Retrieved September 16, 2009.

External links

América CV Network

América CV was a Spanish television network in the United States, created as a result of the joint venture agreement between Sherjan Broadcasting (owner of América Teve) and Caribevision Holdings (owned by Barba TV Group & Pegaso Television) (owner of CaribeVisiòn). The network's name was a combination of the names of the two companies's broadcasting outlets, América TeVe and CV Network.

Boing (Italy)

Boing is an Italian TV channel marketed at children and teenagers, produced and broadcast in Italy by Boing S.p.A, a joint venture of Fininvest's Mediaset (through its RTI subsidiary, which dubs the Italian versions and broadcasts the channel) and AT&T's WarnerMedia (through its Warner Bros. Entertainment Italia subsidiary which supplies the programming, the former Turner Broadcasting System was divided and WarnerMedia had already begun to remove references to Turner Broadcasting System Italia) . It is available on digital terrestrial television and digital satellite television. The French, Spanish and African versions of Boing also launched. Boing Italy rebranded using a brand new graphics package developed by Lumbre on March 7, 2016.

Boing (Spanish TV channel)

Boing is a Spanish free-to-air television channel, owned by a joint venture between Mediaset España and Warner Bros. through its Spain unit, which was launched in 2010. When Cartoonito and Cartoon Network were shut down on 1 July 2013, many Cartoon Network programmes were moved to Boing, alongside new Boomerang programmes. The shows on the channel are also available in English via a second audio feed, whereas Doraemon uses the original Japanese audio track.

Additional Boing feeds are available in Italy, France and Sub-Saharan Africa, with Cartoon Network and Boomerang also being available in those territories.

Canale 5

Canale 5 [kaˈnaːle ˈtʃiŋkwe] (in English Channel Five) is an Italian free-to-air television network of Mediaset. It was the first private television network to have a national coverage in Italy in 1980.

On 4 December 2012, Mediaset launched Canale 5 HD, a simulcast of Canale 5 in high-definition. Since January 2013, Canale 5 has been directed by Giancarlo Scheri.

Class CNBC

Class CNBC (formerly CFN/CNBC) is an Italian pay television channel, working as a localised version of CNBC Europe, albeit with a major focus on the Italian financial markets. The channel is headquartered in Milan, site of the Borsa Italiana, and is a joint venture between the publishing house Class Editori, which holds a majority stake, along with NBC Universal (owner of CNBC Europe) and Italy's largest commercial television company Mediaset, who hold 20% of the channel each. The channel broadcasts for sixteen hours per day, covering trading in Europe, Asia and the United States and it has correspondents in other countries, such as at CNBC Europe in London. Class CNBC uses the current on-air graphical look of CNBC Europe, but it has used the same ticker since the launch of the channel. The director is Andrea Cabrini.

Cuatro (TV channel)

Cuatro (stylized as cuatroo, "Four") is a Spanish commercial television channel, on air since November 2005. Owned by Mediaset España Comunicación, the Spanish subsidiary of the Italian Mediaset group, it is broadcast on the TV frequencies licensed to the previous owner Sogecable in 1990 and previously used by them for the analogue transmission of its pay-per-view channel Canal+. in September 2015 on channel in 5.4%

Italia 1

Italia 1 (Italian pronunciation [iˈtaːlja ˈuːno]) is an Italian free-to-air television channel on the Mediaset network. It is oriented at young people.

Italia 1 was launched on 3 January 1982 and, originally, was owned by Rusconi; after a few months, however, due to the aggressive dumping practices of Silvio Berlusconi's rival network Canale 5, Rusconi was forced to sell the majority of his company to Fininvest, allowing Berlusconi to further strengthen his media holdings.

Italia 2

Mediaset Italia 2, best known as Italia 2 (pronounced Italia Due [iˈtaːlja ˈduːe], lit. Italy 2), is an Italian television channel, owned and operated by Mediaset. It was founded, and started to broadcast, in 2011.

Italia 2 currently broadcasts in Italian. It broadcasts at a national level and also serves to target Italian youth, aimed primarily at a male audience.


La5 is an Italian entertainment television channel, launched on May 12, 2010 and owned by the media company Mediaset. It is broadcast in Italy on DTT channel 30 on mux Mediaset 4 and digital satellite television through Tivù Sat.

It is dedicated to a female audiences and broadcast movie, television series and soap operas.

Mediaset España Comunicación

Mediaset España Comunicación, S.A. (Spanish pronunciation: [meðjaˈset esˈpaɲa komunikaˈθjon]), previously Gestevisión Telecinco, is a Spanish television network and media production company. It is the largest television network in Spain.

Mediaset Extra

Mediaset Extra is an Italian entertainment television channel, owned by the media company Mediaset, launched on 26 November 2010.

It is broadcast in Italy on DTT channel 34 on mux Mediaset 2.

The channel programming mainly consists of reruns of Mediaset's channels.

Mediaset Italia

Mediaset Italia is an international linguistic and cultural television channel, part of the Italian media company Mediaset. Launched in 2009 with the aim to reach Italian communities worldwide, the channel is the international service of Mediaset and broadcast entertainment programming from Canale 5, Italia 1 and Rete 4.

On June 15, 2011, Mediaset Italia officially launched in the United States, available via Dish Network and Comcast. Since September 20, 2017 the channel was also available via DirecTV.

Mediaset Premium

Mediaset Premium is an Italian digital terrestrial television service provided by Sky Italia. It provides pay TV and pay-per-view (only for football matches) through the use of a smart card as well as video on demand through its Premium Play and Premium Online streaming service.

Rete 4

Rete 4 [ˈreːte ˈkwattro] (in English Network 4) is an Italian free-to-air television channel owned by Mediaset. Rete 4's main news programme is TG4, whose editor-in-chief is Gerardo Greco.


TGCOM was an Italian news website owned by Mediaset, launched on March 8, 2001. The website contained mainly Italian and international news coverage, as well as political and entertainment news. TGCOM was closely linked to its sister department website, that of TGFIN, based on Il Sole 24 Ore Radiocor bulletins. TGCOM brand was also used to produce news bulletins on Mediaset television channels.

TGCOM was closed November 28, 2011, the day in which it was replaced by Tgcom24.


Telecinco is a Spanish free-to-air television channel operated by Mediaset España Comunicación. The channel was previously known as Tele 5, because it had first begun its experimental transmissions on 10 March 1989, and a year later, it was officially launched on 3 March 1990, as well as it became the fifth of the national terrestrial television channels and the second private channel in Spain. In 1997, Tele 5 was rebranded as Telecinco, dropping the biscione-absent flower logo seen in other Mediaset channel logos.

Television in Italy

Television in Italy was introduced in 1939, when the first experimental broadcasts began. However, this lasted for a very short time: when fascist Italy entered World War II in 1940 all transmissions were interrupted, and were resumed in earnest only nine years after the end of the conflict, on January 3, 1954.

There are two main national television organisations responsible for most viewing: state-owned RAI, accounting for 37% of the total viewing figures in May 2014, and Mediaset, a commercial network which holds about 33%. The third largest player, the Italian branch of Discovery Communications, had a viewing share of 5.8%. Apart from these three free to air companies, News Corporation's satellite pay TV platform Sky Italia is increasing in viewing and shares.According to the BBC, the Italian television industry is widely considered both inside and outside the country to be overtly politicized. Unlike the BBC which is controlled by an independent trust, the public broadcaster RAI is under direct control of the parliament. According to a December 2008 poll, only 24% of Italians trusted television news programmes, compared unfavourably to the British rate of 38%, making Italy one of only three examined countries where online sources are considered more reliable than television ones for information.


Mediaset TGcom24 is an Italian 24-hour all-news television channel owned and operated by Mediaset, started in 2011 and broadcast on digital terrestrial television and on the Sky Italia satellite platform in Italy. This channel runs live at 6-1am.


tivùsat is a free-to-air/free-to-view digital satellite television platform, launched by the joint venture between RAI, Mediaset and Telecom Italia Media, and serving Italy, Vatican City and San Marino.

The service has been marketed since 31 July 2009 and offers a satellite alternative for many of those unable to receive the digital terrestrial television in Italy. Tivù Sat comprises free-to-air and free-to-view channels available on national television networks, and can be watched using a subscription card for Italian users purchasing a compatible receiver with Nagravision scrambling system. It is also not in English.

Television channels
Defunct assets
Music Group
Canal+ Group
Other assets
Terrestrial digital (free)
Terrestrial digital (pay)
Satellite television (free)
Satellite television (pay)
Sky Italia
TV On Demand (free)
TV On Demand (pay)
Active members
Associate members and
approved participants
FTSE MIB companies of Italy


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.