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Carlo Sartori: RAI's new tsar.

It is officially known as the "RAI Worldwide Project," but the awkward title is a temporary one, created by officials at Rome-based RAI, Italy's state broadcast organization. According to RAI's Carlo Sartori, the "project" serves to better define the role and tasks of the newly consolidated RAI division under which RAI will operate worldwide. This "new" division, called NewCo RAI International (and shortened to RAI NewCo), was originally created in 2003, but remained dormant until Sartori was appointed its president last August. Prior to this appointment, Sartori was president of RaiSat, a bouquet of RAI channels distributed via satellite on the SkyItalia platform.

Within NewCo, RAI International--the radio and TV channel for expatriated Italians outside Europe--will have the most prominent role, as its flagship channel.

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The plan or "project" envisions the integration within NewCo of several RAI divisions currently operating in the international sector--such as RaiTrade (content sales), New York-based Rai Corp. (services), Rai Cinema (film production and distribution), in addition to RAI International and other channels, such as RaiNews24 and events such as PrixItalia (the oldest TV festival in the world).

The RAI Worldwide concept is modeled after England's BBC Worldwide, and could include other RAI entities such as RaiSat, RaiClick and RaiNet (computer-based Internet services).

The most interesting part of the project (at least for North American audiences) is that it calls for monetizing all RAI broadcast channels currently broadcast in Europe (Rail, Rai2, Rai3) through Eutelsat's Hot Bird satellites. These channels (with the exclusion of RAI International) are now available in Europe via satellite, cable and IPTV (Internet protocol for traditional TV set viewing).

The RAI Worldwide project also aims to make RAI International available in Europe (Italy included), and other RAI channels available outside Europe.
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Title Annotation:World
Publication:Video Age International
Date:Oct 1, 2007
Words:291
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