Napoli FC plans dedicated football channel
After Inter, Milan and Roma, even Napoli FC is getting ready to launch a pay-TV channel dedicated to its football team.
Milan inaugurated the series of Italian thematic football channels in December 1999, with Media Partners responsible for the production, distribution and subscriber management. After more than one year on air, the response has been more than satisfactory, with 35,000 football fans signing up and a break-even point set at 45,000-50,000 subscribers.
The fans of Roma and Inter have also responded with enthusiasm to their club’s thematic channels: since September 12,000 Roma fans have signed up, while Inter Channel has registered 15,000 subscriptions. The two TV channels are a 50-50 per cent joint venture between two clubs, which are responsible for the editorial content, and public broadcaster RAI, which is responsible for production.
The initial investment for each of the channels is estimated at around L6-7 billion and after the first two years of foreseen losses, the revenues will be divided equally between RAI and the respective clubs.
Although a Napoli Channel has since appeared on satellite, it is not officially linked with the club. Napoli FC’s marketing director, Luca Ferlaino, has announced that the club will launch its own official football channel in the spring on the Stream digital TV platform.
Darwin Pastorin, the director of Stream’s sports department, is a bit more reserved, “Up until now we’ve only been discussing the aspect of the channel – it will include a lot of news and archive material. By spring, we could start experimental broadcasts, but a definite programme schedule will only be ready by the beginning of the next football season” said Pastorin.