Back in the Fifties, the Italian TV become popular by assigning huge money prizes, sometimes even in golden coins. Somehow a symbol for a country which was going to enter its economic boom.
Much later, Silvio Berlusconi became the most powerful man of Italy also by building an image of wealth, success and glamour mainly thanks to his TV channels.
But recently, he had to admit it even to his arch-nemesis Rupert Murdoch: the Italian TV business is no more what it used to be. For the first year in its history, his Mediaset group closed the fiscal year with a loss of 235 million euros; of course, no dividend will be distributed.
If this can help the Cavaliere to console himself, also his main competitor, the State TV, isn’t faring well, closing the fiscal year with a loss of about 200 million euros. The Italian State TV, like the BBC, is financed by a special-purpose tax. Moreover, just like Mediaset, it sells advertising spaces.