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RAI plots SVOD Netflix rival

Italian public broadcaster RAI is planning to create an online pay TV platform that can rival new SVOD market entrant Netflix.

According to various local reports, new RAI director general Antonio Campo Dall’Orto – a former Viacom International Media Networks executive VP – will ask the Italian government for permission to create an SVOD-style platform that will be phased in over the next five years.

The business model would be a hybrid of transaction on-demand for individual items of content and an SVOD service more akin to Netflix.

Premium content would be primarily sporting events, including football and tennis, plus movies and television series. Among these could be a so-called ‘Package D’, which would allow the service to broadcast 114 Series A football games online.

This would allow RAI to better compete with pay TV operators Sky and Mediaset.

RAI, which has been struggling to bring its finances under control as it adapts to the new media landscape, has launched a new digital division that it hopes will brings its digital and linear television operations closer together.

This all comes after the local launch of Netflix, which debuted in the territory in September as part of the US-based streamer’s international expansion plans.

Launching an SVOD platform would see RAI become the latest pubcaster to aim at monetising its programming online. The UK’s BBC recently launched BBC Store, which includes transaction download options, and is prepping an SVOD service in the US.

Tags: BBC, Mediaset, Netflix, Rai