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Rai Italia

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Title: Rai Italia  
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Subject: Rai Med, RAI, Rai News24, Rai Italia Radio, Rai Premium
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Rai Italia

Rai Italia
Launched 1 January 1992
Owned by RAI through Rai Internazionale
(though intended for external consumption)
Country Italy
Language Italian
Broadcast area Americas
Formerly called Rai International (1992-2008)
Sister channel(s) Rai 1, Rai 2, Rai 3
Foxtel (Australia) Channel 942
Austar (Australia) Channel 942
Bell TV (Canada) Channel 701
Shaw Direct (Canada) Channel 802
SKY Italia (Italy) Channel 804
(timeshares with Rai Med)
SKY Brasil
SKY México
Channel 106 (Brazil)
Channel 281 (Mexico)
Channel 143
(South Africa)
Channel 430
DirecTV (South America) Channel 766
Telefónica TV Digital Channel 437 (Chile)
Channel 449 (Brazil)
Dish Network (USA) Channel 9845
Channel 155
Foxtel (Australia) Channel 942
Austar (Australia) Channel 942
Rogers Cable
Channel 794
Shaw Cable
Channel 184
First Media
Channel 258
Cable Star Iloilo
Channel 54
Destiny Cable
Channel 20 (Digital)
Channel 155 (Digital)
Verizon FiOS
Channel 1790
AT&T Uverse
Channel 3802
Channel 279
Channel 255
Channel 249
Optik TV
Channel 2653
Bell Fibe TV
Channel 701

Rai Italia is the international television service of Rai Internazionale, a subsidiary of RAI, Italy's public national broadcaster. Rai Italia operates a television network that broadcasts around the world via 3 localized feeds. Programming features a mix of news, discussion-based programmes, drama and documentaries as well as sports coverage including 4 live games per week from Italy's top football league: the Serie A.


Rai Italia is targeted at Italian expatriates who live abroad, foreign citizens of Italian descent, and non-Italians interested in Italian language and culture; as such the network features a mix of the best programming from Rai as well as original programmes created especially for this channel.

Rai Italia started international television broadcasting in New Year's Day on 1992 as Rai International, Rai Italia has worked under an agreement with the Italian government in order to develop the presence of public service in international radio and television broadcasting. Rai Italia also strives to meet the demands for information and services from Italian communities abroad.

Rai Italia broadcasts three television channels, via satellite, which vary according to the different geographical targets. No service is available for Europe though Rai's domestic channels are widely available free-to-air in this region. Rai Italia has organized the satellite service into 3 zones with each having a different localized schedule:

Rai Italia 1 - Broadcasts to Americas
Rai Italia 2 - Broadcasts to Australia
Rai Italia 3 - Broadcasts to Asia & Africa
Rai Italia 4 - Broadcasts to Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan (soon)

In Europe, Rai Italia has broadcast for a short period timesharing with Rai Med (Arabic language entertainment, FTA), but this broadcast has ended. It also shares a cable TV channel with TV Guide Channel in the Boston, MA area on Comcast.

Controversy in Canada

In Canada, Rai Italia's programming was originally seen on Telelatino, a Canadian licensed channel launched in 1984 and currently majority owned by Corus together with three prominent Italian-Canadians. Telelatino ( or "TLN") was launched over a decade before a RAI international TV channel ever existed. TLN had provided a level of availability and variety of Italian domestic and foreign programming to Canadians that was unsurpassed anywhere outside Italy. However, in 2003, RAI pulled the Rai International programming from Telelatino and, with the help of Rogers Communications (which itself owns several multicultural stations in Toronto under the Omni Television system), petitioned the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to allow Rai Italia to be broadcast in Canada.[1] Although the Italian community in Montreal was in favour of admitting Rai International into the Canadian media marketplace, the Italian community in Toronto was divided, since some believed that it was a ploy by the then Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to gain influence over Canadian Italian-language media. This theory may have been advanced by Telelatino's primary carriage of programming from Berlusconi-controlled Mediaset after RAI's Canadian launch.

Originally, the CRTC denied RAI's application, on the grounds that RAI had improperly denied supply of programming to TLN's Canadian viewers and that RAI's attempt to enter Canada on an unrestricted basis without any Canadian programming and financial obligations would be unfair competition. However, some Italian-Canadians could watch Rai Italia through grey-market satellite TV viewing cards that allowed them to watch US satellite television. Eventually, in 2005, the CRTC allowed Rai Italia to broadcast in Canada after a review of its policy on third-language foreign language TV services.


2000–2008 2008–2009 2009–2013 2013-present

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^

External links

  • Official Website in Italian, English and Spanish
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