The Italian government rubber-stamped a decree on Monday that will force satcaster Sky Italia, a key rival to the Mediaset broadcast group owned by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, to reduce the amount of advertising it broadcasts. By 2012, the maximum proportion of broadcast time allowed for spots will fall from 18% to 12%, according to the decree. Analysts say the rule will hit Rupert Murdoch's Sky Italia harder than its main pay-TV competitor; Mediaset's Premium Gallery service does not carry more than 12% advertising at any time of the day as yet.

[...] One leading analyst, Augusto Preta of Rome-based IT-Media Consulting, predicted however, that in the medium term, Sky Italia looked likely to maintain its dominance of the Italian pay TV sector.

Variety, 1 March 2010
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