RAI – Radiotelevisione italiana (Italian pronunciation: [ˈrai ˌradjoteleviˈzjoːne itaˈljaːna]; commercially styled as Rai since 2000; known until 1954 as Radio Audizioni Italiane) is the national public broadcasting company of Italy, owned by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
|Società per azioni (S.p.A.) (State Owned)|
|Founded||1924 (as URI)|
1944 (as RAI)
1954 (as RAI S.p.A.)
|Founder||Government of Italy|
|Italy (and other neighbouring countries in the EU, see lead section)|
|Fabrizio Salini (CEO)|
Marcello Foa (Chairman)
|Owner||Ministry of Economy and Finance|
Number of employees
RAI operates many terrestrial and subscription television channels and radio stations. It is one of the biggest television broadcaster in Italy and competes with Mediaset, and other minor television and radio networks. RAI has a relatively high television audience share of 33.8%.
RAI broadcasts are also received in neighbouring countries, including Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Slovenia, Vatican City, Switzerland, and Tunisia, and elsewhere on pay television. Half of the RAI's revenues come from broadcast receiving licence fees, the rest from the sale of advertising time. In 1950, the RAI became one of the 23 founding broadcasting organizations of the European Broadcasting Union.
The Unione Radiofonica Italiana (URI) was formed in 1924 with the backing of the Marconi Company following a model adopted in other European countries. URI made its inaugural broadcast — a speech by Benito Mussolini at Teatro Costanzi — on 5 October. Regular programming began the following evening, with a quartet performing Haydn's Quartet No. 7 in A major from the Palazzo Corradi. At 21.00 CET, Ines Donarelli Viviani announced for the first time: "URI—Unione Radiofonica Italiana Rome station 1RO 425 meters wavelength. To all those who are listening our greetings, good evening". Guglielmo Marconi's S.A. Radiofono—Società Italiana per le Radiocomunicazioni Circolari (Radiofono) held 85% of URI shares and Western Electric's Società Italiana Radio Audizioni Circolari (SIRAC) held the remaining 15%.
Under the provisions of Royal Decree No. 1067 of 8 February 1923, wireless broadcasting became a state monopoly under the control of the Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs; URI was commissioned to provide services for a minimum of six years pursuant to Royal Decree No. 2191 of 14 October 1924 "Concessione dei servizi radioauditivi circolari alla Società Anonima Unione Radiofonica Italiana". However, when URI's contract expired in 1927, it was succeeded under Royal Decree Law No. 2207 of 17 November 1927 by the partially nationalised Ente Italiano per le Audizioni Radiofoniche (EIAR), which became Radio Audizioni Italiane S.p.A. (RAI) with investment from Società Idroelettrica Piemontese (SIP) in 1944.
During the reconstruction following World War II, much of RAI's early programming was influenced by the "Reithian" style of the BBC. The emphasis was on educational content. Programs like Non è mai troppo tardi and Un viaggio al Po introduced people to what life was like in other parts of the country, at a time when most people could not afford to travel.
Over the following years the RAI made various changes to its services. It reorganized its radio stations in November 1946 into two national networks, Rete Rossa and Rete Azzurra ("Red Network" and "Blue Network"). It added the culture-based Terzo Programma in October 1950. On 1 January 1952 the Rete Rossa became the Programma Nazionale (focusing on informational content) and the Rete Azzurra became the Secondo Programma (with a greater emphasis on entertainment). The three radio channels eventually became today's Rai Radio 1, Rai Radio 2, and Rai Radio 3.
In 1954 the state-owned holding company Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale (IRI) became the sole shareholder and IRI – now renamed RAI—Radiotelevisione italiana to reflect its extended responsibilities – finally began a regular television service. On 3 January at 11.00 CET, the first RAI television announcer presented the day's schedule, which was broadcast from the service's Milan headquarters and relay stations in Turin and Rome. At 14.30, the first regular programme in Italian television history was broadcast: Arrivi e partenze, hosted by Armando Pizzo and Mike Bongiorno. The evening's entertainment was a theatre performance, L'osteria della posta, written by Carlo Goldoni. 23.15 saw the start of the day's concluding programme, La Domenica Sportiva – the first edition of a weekly series which continues to this day.
RAI was originally the subsidiary of RAI Holding S.p.A. RAI Holding was absorbed into RAI as of 1 December 2004, per Article 21 of Law 112/04.
The RAI is governed by a nine-member Administrative Council. Seven of members are elected by a committee of the Italian Parliament. The other two (one of which is the President) are nominated by the largest shareholder: the Ministry of Economic Development. The Council appoints the Director-General. The Director-General and the members of the Administrative Council are appointed for a renewable three-year term. In 2005, the government of Silvio Berlusconi proposed partial privatization of RAI by selling 20% ownership. This proposal was very controversial, in part because Berlusconi was the head of the leading private broadcaster Mediaset. Some critics claimed that Mediaset could become the buyer and thus increase its dominant position. However, after the revelation that RAI would lose €80m ($96m, £54m) in 2006, the privatization plan was suspended in October 2005.
On 18 May 2010, Raisat received a major upgrade and re-branded with a new logo and a new name. It and all of the sister channels dropped the sat part from the name and became Rai YoYo, Rai 5 (formerly known as Rai Extra), Rai Premium, and Rai Movie (formerly known as Raisat Cinema).
On 11 June 2013, the RAI was one of the few known European broadcasters to condemn and criticize the closure of Greece's state broadcaster ERT.
RAI company has been criticized because as of 2015 it had 46 directors and 262 head offices and they are considered too many; RAI Spa is a private company but it is 100% owned by the Italian Government and all the TV owners in Italy have to pay an annual tax of 100 euros.
|3 January 1954||generalist and family-oriented|
|4 November 1961||generalist, catering towards urban audiences|
|15 December 1979||generalist and regional programming|
|14 July 2008||TV series, movies and shows|
|26 November 2010||culture, music, documentaries|
|1 June 2007||kids/teens|
|1 July 1999||movies|
|26 April 1999||all news|
|31 July 2003||fiction|
|19 October 2009||educational|
|Rai Sport||58||Free-to-air||1 February 1999||sports|
|Rai Storia||54||Free-to-air||2 February 2009||history|
|Rai Yoyo||43||Free-to-air||1 November 2006||kids|
|Rai 1 HD||501||Free-to-air||25 October 2013||HD version of Rai 1|
|Rai 2 HD||502||Free-to-air||25 October 2013||HD version of Rai 2|
|Rai 3 HD||503||Free-to-air||25 October 2013||HD version of Rai 3|
|Rai 4 HD||521||Free-to-air||22 January 2016||HD version of Rai 4|
|Rai 5 HD||113||Free-to-view||19 September 2016||HD version of Rai 5|
|Rai Movie HD||114||Free-to-view||26 May 2016||HD version of Rai Movie|
|Rai Premium HD||525||Free-to-air||26 May 2016||HD version of Rai Premium|
|Rai Sport + HD||57||Free-to-air||14 September 2015||HD version of Rai Sport|
|Rai 4K||210||Free-to-view||17 June 2016||Ultra Definition channel|
|Rai Italia||International||1 January 1992||reaching out to Italian expatriates|
|Rai World Premium||International||Italian culture|
|Rai Ladinia||Regional||Ladin language channel in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol|
|Rai Südtirol||Regional||German language channel in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol|
|Rai 3 BIS FJK||103||Regional||1995||Slovene language channel in Friuli-Venezia Giulia/Furlanija Julijska Krajina|
- Rai Azzurri: UEFA Euro 2004 (2004, broadcast using Rai Utile frequencies)
- Rai Doc: cultures, styles (1 April 2004 — 1 June 2007)
- Rai Extra: generalist (31 July 2003 — 26 November 2010)
- Rai Festival (broadcast using Rai Utile frequencies)
- Rai Futura: technologies, games, etc. (30 May 2005 — 1 February 2007, broadcast on the same frequences of Rai Doc at settled times)
- Rai HD (22 April 2008 — 18 September 2016)
- Rai Med (26 April 2001 — April 2014)
- Rai Olimpia: 2004 Summer Olympics (2004, broadcast using Rai Utile frequencies)
- Rai Sport 2 (18 May 2010 — 5 February 2017)
- Rai Sport 2 HD (1 August — 19 September 2016, HD version launched for 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games)
- Rai UniNettuno Sat Uno (1998 — April 2014)
- Rai UniNettuno Sat Due (2003 — 1 February 2009)
- Rai Utile (4 January 2004 — 1 January 2008)
- Rai Widescreen: 1998 FIFA World Cup (1998—1999)
- Rai On Cultura (IPTV)
- Rai On Fiction (IPTV)
- Rai On Fiction Live (IPTV)
- Rai On News (IPTV)
- Rai On Ragazzi (IPTV)
- Rai On Spettacolo (IPTV)
- Rai On Sport (IPTV)
- RaiSat 1 (1997—1999)
- RaiSat 2 (1997—1999)
- RaiSat 3/Educational (1997—2000)
- RaiSat Album (1 June 1999 — 30 July 2003)
- RaiSat Art (1999 — 30 July 2003)
- RaiSat Fiction (2000 — 30 July 2003)
- RaiSat Gambero Rosso Channel (1999 — 31 July 2009)
- RaiSat Ragazzi (1 July 1999 — 31 October 2006)
- RaiSat Show (1 June 1999 — 31 July 2003)
- RaiSat Smash Girls (1 November 2006 — 1 August 2009)
FM, AM, Satellite, DAB/DAB+, DTT, Filodiffusion, Web:
- Rai Radio 1: news and information
- Rai Radio 2: adult contemporary music and conversation
- Rai Radio 3: classical music and culture
- Rai Radio Tutta Italiana: only Italian music
- Rai Radio Classica: classic and opera music
- Rai Radio Techete': featuring items from the radio archives
- Rai Radio Live: live music
- Rai Radio Kids: radiostation for children from 2 to 10 years old
- Rai Gr Parlamento: coverage of proceedings in the Italian Parliament
- Rai Isoradio: for motorway users
- Rai Radio 1 Sport: sport
- Rai Radio 2 Indie: independent music
- Rai Südtirol: German-language programmes for the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol region
- Rai Radio Trst A: Slovene-language programmes for the Friuli-Venezia Giulia/Furlanija Julijska Krajina region
- RadioStereoDue (1982—1991)
- RadioVerdeRai (1991—1994)
- Rai Italia Radio (1 July 1930 — 31 December 2011)
- Rai Radio 8 Opera (6 August 2015 — 11 June 2017)
On demand service
|Founder||Government of Italy |
Rai Libri is the print publishing arm of Rai, headquartered in Turin. They primarily publish magazines and periodicals for news, entertainment, the broadcast industry, and since their beginning, broadcast schedules. They also have published since 1969 the Dictionary of Orthography and Pronunciation, the largest Italian dictionary of its kind.
RAI's history in print with the Unione Radiofonica Italiana (URI)'s weekly magazine Radio Orario which debuted in January 1925 and became Radiocorriere in 1930. Edizioni Radio Italiana (ERI) was founded in 1949 in Turin, formed entirely from RAI capital to build on Radiocorriere's success. In 1954 primary ownership was split between RAI and Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale (IRI). That same year Radiocorriere became Radiocorriere TV, which would continue to be published until RAI divested in 1995.
During the 50s and 60s the ERI published Classe Unica, L'Approdo letterario and L'Approdo Musicale, and in 1969 the first edition of the DOP. The 80s saw the premiere of the monthlies Moda (1983) and King (1987), along with registering a new company name in 1987: Nuova Eri Edizioni Rai-Radiotelevisione Italiana S.p.A., or "Nuova ERI".
Since the 90s RAI/ERI has increasingly focused on publishing books written by its own broadcast stars, both in news and entertainment. In 1995 Nuova ERI closed and reopened in 1996 as "Rai Eri". On 15 October 2018 they renamed to "Rai Libri".
Rai Libri also edits technical publications: Elettronica e telecomunicazioni since 1946, Nuova rivista musicale italiana since 1967, and Nuova civiltà delle macchine since 1957. It produces its own reports on communications and media, with the second edition of the book-and-documentary RicordeRai released in 2004 in collaboration with Rai Teche.
RAI (originally URI) had printed its broadcast schedules nearly without interruption starting in 1925 as Radio Orario, then from 1930 as Radiocorriere, then continuously from 1954 as Radiocorriere TV, until RAI divested in 1995.
The magazine was restarted under publisher Rcc edizioni with a print edition from 1999–2008, closing due to poor sales. It reopened in 2012 as an online-only publication, with a handful of special-occasion independent print runs in the intervening years, including 2005 (its 80th anniversary), 2010 (switchover to DTTV), and 2011 (150th Anniversary of the Unification of Italy). The "Rai Ufficio Stampa [press office]" website has meanwhile published programming schedules and television blurbs online since 2011 under the magazine's name. On 3 January 2014 Rai Teche published online the complete 1925–1995 archives of URI/RAI's Radio Orario/Radiocorriere/TV.
Headquarters and offices
|Seat||Centers of television production||Auditoriums/theatres||Studios|
|Rome||Centro radiotelevisivo "Biagio Agnes", Saxa Rubra||16|
|Rome||CPTV Via Teulada, 66||9|
|Rome||CPTV Studi "Fabrizio Frizzi", Via Ettore Romagnoli, 30||6|
|Rome||Teatro delle Vittorie||1 theatre|
|Rome||Auditorium of Foro Italico||1 auditorium|
|Milan||CP Corso Sempione, 27||3 auditoriums||5|
|Milan||CPTV Via Mecenate, 76||4|
|Naples||CP Viale Marconi, 9||1 auditorium||7|
|Turin||CP Via Verdi, 16||1 auditorium||6|
As March 2015, the RAI has a debt of €442 million and the Italian Court of Audit was worried about the size of RAI's debt for the impact that this may have on Italian people, as the company is owned by the state.
Mandatory annual fee on all televisions in Italy
Italians must purchase an annual television license for about €90 every year in order to legally own a TV or HDTV. It is known as Canone Rai, "Rai Tax" because it is used to part-fund the RAI. Since 2016, it is financed through the electricity bill.
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