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Telecom Italia & Rupert Murdoch’s Sky partner for Internet TV service

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MUMBAI: Fibre-optic cable TV has landed in Italy as part of a strategic partnership between Telecom Italia and Rupert Murdoch’s Sky. The companies will be sharing their assets and their respective expertise to bring forth a key business project that will also boost ultra-broadband demand in Italy.

With this partnership, the two companies take a crucial step forward towards “convergence” between media and TLC, as the deal makes way for the first “quadruple play” offer in Italy, integrating landline and mobile services, broadband and ultra-broadband connectivity and premium television content available “anytime and anywhere” on all Internet-connected devices.

The excellence of content and the uniqueness of Sky’s viewing experience turn into drivers for spreading TIM’s ultra-broadband and, at the same time, the access to Telecom Italia’s latest generation networks allows Sky to benefit from a new distribution platform for its content and services offer.

The initiative strengthens TIM’s strategy in distributing innovative services and confirms its role as technology enabler thanks to very high-speed networks, thus bringing more and more households closer to the very quality of content and the new modes to enjoy the Sky-branded viewing experience.

Similarly, the agreement with Telecom Italia does carry a strategic meaning for Sky too, as it makes all its wide-ranging offer of programs and exclusive services available on broadband and on ultra-broadband networks as well thus extending pay TV scope to reach out, for example, those prospects who reside in the city centers of the many Italian art cities and cannot install the satellite dish and therefore access Italy's best TV offer.

The TIM Sky joint offer will be available for TIM’s private customers with a fibre-optic connection from 30 to 100 Mbit/s and 20 Mbit/s ADSL.

With TIM’s broadband and ultra-broadband networks, Sky’s television offer and user experience will equal those available via satellite. An offering featuring more than 150 channels, with all the quality of HD (about 60 HD channels and one 3D channel) and with all the innovative features that make viewing experience unique, from Sky On Demand, the video-library with more than 2500 titles to be watched at any time, to Restart, the service enabling subs to restart a movie already on air from the very beginning. All the other My Sky HD features allowing customers to record their favorite programs, pause a live show or watch again whatever scene with the replay, will be active within the summer.

For the first year, the TIM Sky offer will be proposed, as a promotion, starting from €14 per month for users already with fibre or ADSL connectivity and from €39 per month for a quadruple play package (internet landline and mobile, voice and TV content).

Telecom Italia CEO Marco Patuano said, “Today, in Italy, with Sky, we are starting a new collaboration model between Telco and Media Companies that allows us to go to the market with a fully convergent offer. We are convinced that this strategic deal is an important driver for the development of the new ultra-broadband networks and of the innovative technologies that are at the core of our business plan featuring more than 5 billion euros investments for the three years period 2015-2017. We are particularly pleased with this partnership as it allows our customers to access exclusive and high quality content thanks to Telecom Italia’s technological expertise and Sky’s editorial richness.”

“This partnership is an example of how two leading companies, that have always been investing in innovation, can join together to create something that until recently was not even possible in Italy, therefore boosting demand, so far only potential, for quality pay TV also through ultra-broadband. From now on Telecom Italia’s fibre will bring all the richness of content and the excellence of Sky’s viewing experience, with HD, on demand, Restart, My Sky features, into the houses of millions of Italian families who, for various reasons, could not install a dish. Sky is currently present on all the main distribution platforms and this agreement does carry a strong strategic value for us as it broadens Sky’s commercial prospects base. To understand its importance just think that in the UK almost 20% of households enjoy a pay TV offer through cable or broadband,” added Sky Italia CEO Andrea Zappia.

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