|Genre||Italian Public Broadcasting Service|
|Headquarters||Saxa Rubra, Rome, Italy|
|Revenue||€3210,9 million (2008)|
|Owner(s)||Italian Ministry of Economic Development|
RAI – Radiotelevisione Italiana, known until 1954 as Radio Audizioni Italiane, is the Italian state owned public service broadcaster controlled by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance. RAI is the biggest television company in Italy. It competes with three major private television companies, Mediaset, Telecom Italia Media and Sky Italia.
Rai operates many television channels and radio stations, broadcasting in analog terrestrial (until 2013), in digital terrestrial and in several satellite and IPTV offerings. RAI is one of the 23 founding broadcasting organisations of the European Broadcasting Union in 1950.
RAI started off as a privately owned company. The Unione Radiofonica Italiana (URI) was formed in 1924 by private entrepreneurs and part of the Marconi group. Granted a monopoly of radio broadcasts in 1924, URI made its first broadcast — a Haydn quartet — on the 24 October of that year. URI was developed under the Italian Postal and Telecommunications Code. This code indicated that broadcast services belonged to the state, which, at that time, was the commission of Unione Radiofonica Italian for a minimal of six years. However when the URI's contract was up, it was succeeded to 1927 by Ente Italiano Audiozioni Radiofoniche (EIAR) who later was renamed to Radio Audiozioni Italia (RAI) in 1944. For the next twenty years, RAI had made several expansive changes to their company as the market developed such as extending their charter to include television in 1952 and undergoing their final name change as Radiotelevisione Italiana in 1954.
In this year the state-controlled holding company IRI became the sole shareholder, and RAI finally began a regular television service. On January 3 at 11:00 CET, the first RAI television announcer announced the daily scheduling from the Milan office and the relay stations in Turin and Rome. At the 14:30 starts the first regular programme in the Italian television history: Arrivi e partenze, hosted by Armando Pizzo and Mike Bongiorno. The first evening show was a theatre performance, written by Carlo Goldoni: L'osteria della posta. At the 23:15 was introduced the last the program of the day: La Domenica Sportiva, a soccer television program.
Parts of the early programming was focused on educational content: during the reconstruction following World War II, programs like Non è mai troppo tardi and Un viaggio al Po made people see what life was like in other parts of Italy, in a time when tourism was out of the reach of the vast majority of the population.
A very controversial plan to partly privatise RAI, by selling 20% of the public broadcaster, was suspended in October 2005.
The fact that the Berlusconi-led government pushed for the sale of Mediaset's public service rival caused a very heated debate, with some critics claiming that Mediaset could become the buyer and thus increase its dominant position even further. However, in October 2005 it was announced that the privatisation plan had been suspended, following the revelation that the company would make a loss of €80m ($96m, £54m) during 2006. "RAI's privatisation is de facto suspended", its new director general, Alfredo Meocci, told a parliamentary watchdog committee.
RAI is governed by a nine member Administrative Council. Seven of its nine members are elected by a parliamentary committee, the remaining two (one of which the President) are nominated by the largest shareholder: the Italian Ministry of Economic Development. The Council appoints the director-general. Both director-general and members of the administrative council are appointed for a renewable term of three years.
|Name||Took office||Left office|
|Arturo Carlo Jemolo||April 20, 1945||August 9, 1946|
|Giuseppe Spataro||August 9, 1946||May 17, 1951|
|Cristiano Ridomi||May 17, 1951||March 11, 1954|
|Antonio Carrelli||June 3, 1954||January 4, 1961|
|Novello Papafava||January 4, 1961||March 25, 1964|
|Pietro Quaroni||May 29, 1964||April 12, 1969|
|Aldo Sandulli||April 23, 1969||February 18, 1970|
|Umberto delle Fave||March 24, 1970||April 22, 1975|
|Beniamino Finocchiaro||May 23, 1975||January 20, 1977|
|Paolo Grassi||January 20, 1977||June 12, 1980|
|Sergio Zavoli||June 12, 1980||October 23, 1986|
|Enrico Manca||October 23, 1986||February 19, 1992|
|Walter Pedullà||February 19, 1992||July 13, 1993|
|Claudio Demattè||July 13, 1993||July 12, 1994|
|Letizia Moratti||July 12, 1994||April 24, 1996|
|Giuseppe Morello||April 24, 1996||July 10, 1996|
|Enzo Siciliano||July 10, 1996||January 21, 1998|
|Roberto Zaccaria||February 3, 1998||February 17, 2000|
|Roberto Zaccaria 1||February 17, 2000||February 16, 2002|
|Vittorio Emiliani||February 16, 2002||February 22, 2002|
|Antonio Baldassarre||March 5, 2002||February 26, 2003|
|Paolo Mieli||March 7, 2003||March 13, 2003|
|Lucia Annunziata||March 13, 2003||May 4, 2004|
|Francesco Alberoni 2||May, 2004||May, 2005|
|Sandro Curzi 2||June 1, 2005||July 30, 2005|
|Claudio Petruccioli||July 31, 2005||March 25, 2009|
|Paolo Garimberti||March 26, 2009||present|
|Name||Took office||Left office|
|Giovan Battista Vicentini||1954||1955|
|Ettore Bernabei||January 5, 1961||September 18, 1974|
|Michele Principe||May 23, 1975||January 25, 1977|
|Giuseppe Glisenti||January 26, 1977||June 17, 1977|
|Pierantonino Bertè||July 12, 1977||June 18, 1980|
|Villy De Luca||June 19, 1980||July 21, 1982|
|Biagio Agnes||July 29, 1982||February 1, 1990|
|Gianni Pasquarelli||February 5, 1990||July 23, 1993|
|Gianni Locatelli||July 23, 1993||August 3, 1994|
|Gianni Billia||August 3, 1994||December 31, 1994|
|Raffaele Minicucci||January 16, 1995||February 29, 1996|
|Aldo Materia 3||March 6, 1996||July 15, 1996|
|Franco Iseppi||July 15, 1996||February 8, 1998|
|Pier Luigi Celli||February 9, 1998||February 17, 2000|
|Pier Luigi Celli 1||February 17, 2000||February 9, 2001|
|Claudio Cappon||February 9, 2001||March 19, 2002|
|Agostino Saccà||March 19, 2002||March 27, 2003|
|Flavio Cattaneo||March 27, 2003||August 5, 2005|
|Alfredo Meocci||August 5, 2005||June 20, 2006|
|Claudio Cappon||June 22, 2006||April 2, 2009|
|Mauro Masi||April 2, 2009||present|
RAI broadcasts three main terrestrial channels, also available on satellite television. Rai Uno, the main channel, targets the family market. Rai Due, that has broadcast since November 4, 1961 as the "Secondo Programma", has in recent years lacked clear focus, but now attempts to focus on a slightly younger audience than Rai Uno. Rai Tre (on air from December 15, 1979 as "TV3") is the ‘alternative’ channel, with a definite public service remit. Rai Uno and Rai Due started full-time color broadcasting on February 1, 1977.
The following channels are also available in digital terrestrial and satellite television:
: also available on satellite television