Sky television came to Italy today when Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp bought the troubled Italian pay-per-view channel, Telepiu from Vivendi.

Negotiations had dragged on since the end of last year. Murdoch’s is expected to merge Telepiu with ppv rival Stream which is part-owned by Murdoch and part by Telecom Italia.

The Italian telecommunications corporation would keep a 20 per cent share in the new unified channel, to be called Sky Italia.

News Corp will pay Vivendi around œ300million plus œ280million to wipe out the channel’s debts. The target for Sky Italia is to break even in 2004.
By Keir Radnedge