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By | September 6, 2000

      Two years after the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) launched its own free-to-air satellite TV channel Sat 2000, the Catholic broadcaster is planning to branch out terrestrially with multilingual syndicated programming. Financed by CEI, Sat 2000 offers live coverage of the Pope’s Sunday Angelus sermons from St Peter’s Square as well as other public Papal appearances. It also broadcasts news, documentaries, movies and drama produced by Italian film director Pupi Avati. Currently, over 100 local TV channels throughout Italy are rebroadcasting Sat 2000’s programming of Sat 2000. However, over the past few months, Sat 2000 has forged partnerships with half a dozen local Italian broadcasters that will air programmes during simultaneous time slots, creating a de-facto network. Sat 2000 aims to sign precise agreements regarding scheduling and programming, by buying airtime on partner stations and taking care of the advertising. The Catholic broadcaster, according to its CEO Livio Gualerzi, also intends to purchase movie, documentary and animation rights from RAI and other distributors.

      He revealed that the next step is to establish similar links in France, Spain, Germany, and Pope John Paul II’s native Poland, enabling Sat 2000 to offer a trans-national programme schedule which will air on local networks across continental Europe.

      CEI has set aside L45 billion (E23.24 million) for the three-year expansion

      project, with L15 billion being invested in technology and L30 billion for local partnerships.

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