Sportitalia channel revitalised and reborn

After eight months off-air, Sportitalia – the renowned Italian sports broadcaster – returned to full-scale broadcasting duties in June. Of the three original channels one has resumed service on digital terrestrial networks and will soon also be included within the extended family of satellite pay TV operator SKY Italy, where it was broadcast previously, on Channel 225.

The programming amounts to more than 16 hours’ daily of live transmissions and the founder is the same as for the first version: entrepreneur Tarak Ben Ammar. This time Tarak is joined by well-known sports journalist Michele Criscitiello, who is now serving as a director of the network.

The editorial project involves an investment of 8.6 million euros and is backed by the Micri Communication Network and Europe. Micri Communication follows the development of the editorial content transmitted from the network, as well as managing sports rights and advertising revenues.

Some 50 people are working in the newsroom among journalists and technicians, about 40 who are derived from the previous version of SportItalia. The average age of personnel is approx 30 years, and about half of the staff are female.

Production facilities

The production studios where the programmes are made and broadcast are collected in three locations (rented for two years) at Unica Video in Milan, Rome and Naples. About 70 percent of the transmission concerns football and a lot of effort has been made to try to cooperate with the football federations.

Sportitalia channel starts commences with a strong vocation in all respects across new media, and involves a comprehensive website which is constantly updated and invites the public to interact as much as possible.

A special app, called Si, allows for greater interaction between the public, while the audience is also involved through such means as social networking, live streaming and VideoOnDemand. Meanwhile, an online store deals with e-commerce, selling Sportitalia-branded clothing.

In addition to football the programming touches upon all Italian sports and also take a view on the USA with NBS, NFL and NHL Basketball. All of this is conducted in collaboration with the editors of Tuttomercatoweb and Radio Sportiva.

Also new Sportitalia is the advertising strategy. Network director Criscitiello stated during the Sportitalia launch press conference that “the channel wants to build a stable relationship with companies in order for them to become partner sponsors to generate on purpose communication projects designed and made to size, tailored according to the customers’ needs.” The basic idea is to have many direct sponsors as a starting point and only later to involve advertising agencies and media centre.

The programming starts at six in the morning with news and sports bulletins, and then at 7am SportItalia Mattina sifts through press coverage and American sports stories. From 9 to 11am a programme is aired in conjunction with Radio Sportiva, and following that is A Tu Per Tu, featuring an extended interview with a celebrated sporting figure.

After a highly detauled sports bulletin, the afternoon is filled with programmes about basketball and volleyball. There is more football in the early evening, whilst Speciale Calciomercato comprises transmissions drawn from the channel’s previous incarnation. The day’s programming concludes at midnight with the extensive sports bulletin, TG Sports.

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