|Founded||2nd January 1959|
Jeremiah Strazzela (Director General) |
Francesco Morratella (Chairman)
|Headquarters||Celeste, Amosseri, Cattala|
James Servissa |
Andrew Dasnell (Director-General)
Alessandro Demarco (Worldwide MD)
|Services||Television, Radio, Online|
|Revenue||£1.2 billion (2013)|
|Operating income||£125 million (2013)|
|Owner(s)||Crown Estate of Cattala|
Atlantic Media |
Royal Media International (RMI) is the state broadcaster in Cattala, headquartered in the RMI Media Park in Franogei, a historic district of Celeste, Amosseri. It is the largest broadcaster in Cattala and was founded in 1959 to provide public service broadcasting across Cattala, Malta and other English-speaking Mediterranean states. It is an autonomous corporation that operates under a Royal Charter and is licensed by the Ministry for Culture, Media and Sport. It's main form of funding is the £200 million television license fee, paid for by all Cattalian television owners on an annual basis. The fee is decided by the Government and voted on by the National Assembly.
Internationally, RMI has expanded its reach to Britain, Italy, Tirnreich, Okatabawashi, Syldavia, Galbadia and Killorglin. It also operates limited services in North America, Southern Asia and Oceania. The launch of RMI Worldwide in 2008 provided a platform for the sale of RMI productions overseas, and is commercially funded to reduce the cost to the Cattalian taxpayer. RMI Worldwide is the most profitable part of the RMI corporation and includes the subsidiary broadcaster, Atlantic Media.
RMI also runs Cattala's largest digital broadcasting service, Cievista, in partnership with NM Group, owners of 3 Television and CNS. RMI is the main provider of local radio in Cattala, as well as running four television channels and three national radio stations.
In 2013, it made an operating profit of £125 million ($206 million) , based on income of £1.2 billion ($1.9 billion), including a license fee of £200 million ($330 million).
Radio broadcasting began in Cattala in 1923, and was produced by the Cattala Wireless Service. It became popular in pre-war Cattala and was the first institute to broadcast a speech by King Charles III. For most of the population, it was the first time they had heard their monarch speak. By 1939, a majority of households had access to the wireless service and listening to the radio became a popular past time, especially on Sunday's after Church. Once the war started, the radio network was used solely for war-related broadcasts but the infrastructure was destroyed by Italian bombing raids during 1940.
Following the war, the BBC opened a small radio service in the country, BBC Cattala. It broadcast for 16 hours a day on one radio frequency but was vital in rebuilding the radio infrastructure in the post-war nation. The FM frequency was introduced to Cattala for the first time. BBC Cattala served the Mediterranean colonies of Britain, including Malta and troops serving in Italy and Greece. However the new Cattalian government agreed with the Churchill administration that the service should be run by Cattalians and not the BBC.
Following meetings with BBC executives and the Churchill government, the Cattalian government passed a Media Act in 1957 that declared that the Cattalian Media Institute would take over full control of radio and television broadcasting in Cattala. Following further discussions with the BBC, the Fernandez government agreed to take over the BBC Cattala service completely, and continue broadcasting across the Mediterranean. The CMI was refocused as Royal Media International, fulfilling it's newly acquired Royal Charter and the international commitments it had taken over from the BBC.
RMI was initially formed of one national radio channel, RMI Radio, and one television channel, RMI. It had a monopoly of the radio market until 1962. The creation of the ATC, Agenzia Trasmissioni de Cattala, in 1959 ended RMI's brief reign over the television market. RMI was much wealthier than the commercially-funded ATC, and was able to use this to remain the dominant channel in the market throughout the 1960s.
In 1962, the Fernandez government continued to reform the media industry by opening the radio market up to private competition. RMI Radio now faced stiff competition from seven new commercial stations that broadcast inter-provincially and targeted specific audiences, whilst RMI Radio did not. Its market share went into freefall and a complete restructuring was called for by the new Democratic government. RMI Radio was split into six regional radio stations, excluding Monte Calida, which were produced provincially and joined together overnight and during siesta hours. Costs rose, but listener numbers stabilised and competition between the private and public radio stations rose.
In 1970 the Bertollini government deregulated the television market and fulfilled an election promise by opening up the TV market to more commercial channels. The launch of Three Television resulted in advertisers choosing between the fledgling but well-funded 3TV, or the older ATC. Three Television became an instant success, with large ratings from its American and British imports and this resulted in higher profits and success than ATC. The Cattala Television Agency group collapsed in 1972 and was taken over by MIP, an independent television provider.
Following ATC's bankruptcy, the license for a second television channel was made available and RMI purchased it outright, with a considerably higher bid than that of MIP. RMI Two was launched, and began broadcasting documentaries, news and current affairs and Italian language programmes, in direct competition to MIP, which rebranded as Quattro in 1974. RMI was also rebranded as RMI One and focused it's content on dramas, comedies and news programmes.
The formation of the first satellite broadcasters in 1989 in Cattala meant that the country's main terrestrial channels, the Big Four, faced new competition from Italy and continental Europe. The Government released a report into the rise of satellite television which decided that RMI should launch it's own version of digital television to provide the latest technology to consumers. However, RMI could not raise the funds to pay for the service's launch due to its purchase of Atlantic Media Group (AMG), and joined 3 Television owner NM Group in producing the first Cattalian satellite service, Cievista. The rise of digital led to the first major review into RMI's structure since the radio shake-up in the 1960s. RMI One and Two were joined by the digital-only channel RMI Three, which broadcasts children's programming during the day and educational shows until closedown at midnight. This freed up more time for news and current affairs shows on RMI One in the mornings and early afternoons. NM Group launched it's first news division, CNS, in 1995 and it currently produces news bulletins for 3 Television and Quattro throughout the week and has begun operating online and on mobile. It began as a partner to RAI and ITN and has pooled resources with the two companies since its formation.
International brands, including UKTV, Rai, Sky, Fox and BBC World Service, began operations following the launch of digital in Cattala and the main rivals to the terrestrial channels are Rai and the BBC. However partnerships between RMI and the BBC means that some programming shown elsewhere on the BBC World Service is not shown in Cattala, as it is exclusively shown by RMI.
In 2007, Cievista launched its first HD subscription option on its new CV+HD box. RMI became the first broadcaster to begin operating an HD channel, with the public is the launch of RMI HD in July 2007. A review into the first six months of the channel showed that the audience was growing month-by-month at a rate of 700% and projections showed that by 2010 15% of Cattalian households would have an HD subscription. Royal Media International expanded its HD service to two channels, with RMI One HD and RMI Two HD operating from January 2009. A report released by Cievista in September 2009 revealed that 1 million customers had the CV+HD service in their homes, meaning that the original growth rate forecast by RMI was 20% smaller than the actual growth rate. The broadcaster launched RMI News HD in 2011 and began upscaling standard definition programmes on the two main HD channels to allow them to broadcast in HD throughout the day.
The introduction of Cievista's CVDemand service, an extensive library of on-demand television in 2009. RMI, as a part-owner of Cievista, was one of the first broadcasters to grant access to its 10-year back catalogue of Cattalian and overseas programming, to be shown on CVDemand. Over 10,000 hours of RMI programming was available on demand by January 2011.
The broadcaster's online video player, called RMiPlayer, left beta stage in 2007 and was publicly unveiled in December 2007. It was developed alongside the BBC iPlayer service and uses similar design and storage facilities. RMiPlayer allows viewers to watch 7 days television online or mobile devices for free. In 2010 it was extended onto all CV+HD boxes as an extension of its CVDemand service.
RMI Local Radio is the public broadcaster's regional radio service, consisting of 19 stations. They cover a variety of areas, with some serving exclusively cities, like RMI Radio Celeste, some serving a geographic area, for example Radio Costanord, and others serving larger regions, including Radio Jennai.
The stations were launched in 1962 as six provincial stations, excluding Monte Calida, and broadcast during most of the day and evenings independently of the national radio service. Since then, numerous local radio stations have split and others have merged, creating the current 19 regions of radio.
In 1975 local radio underwent its second major restructuring, with provincial RMI Radio providers given autonomous status and management. Monte Calida Radio Group was created as part of the reform. This resulted in the creation of more localised services as 15 new regional, not provincial, stations opened up under the control of the seven local radio companies.
In 1990, when 23 stations existed, changes in funding meant that South Calida Radio, Confini Radio, Amossa Radio and Lassinia Radio all saw their budgets cut by half as they had mostly rural audiences with smaller numbers of listeners. All four stations collapsed within a year and were taken over by the Local Radio Companies. This led to a further reform in 1992, when the LRCs were given more powers over rural stations and province-wide stations returned to take over failing stations and simulcast with their specialist local stations overnight and during siestas to save costs.
The seven RMI Local Radio Companies still manage news and resources for the local radio stations. Most content is produced individually by the 19 stations, but off-peak programming is produced by the LRC's and broadcast across all stations in the provinces.
Amosseri Local Radio Company: Radio Amosseri, Radio Celeste
Fieranti LRC: Radio Fieranti, Radio Costanord, Radio Calora
Jennai LRC: Radio Jennai
Monte Calida LRC: Radio Calida, Monte Radio, Radio Seina
Hellas LRC: Hellas Radio, Hellas Radio South
Lessito LRC: Radio Lessito, Radio Almae, Cape Radio, Radio Aldoak, Radio Ontano
Roumeli LRC: Radio Roumeli, North Island Radio, Radio Guila
Jennai LRC is the only one with no local radio station, due to the large number of independent stations that dominate the market. All of the stations in italics are fully run by local radio companies and are the central stations for each province. Lessito LRC has the highest number of stations per 1000 people, and also has the highest budget of any of the companies.
In Cattala, RMI One and RMI Two are the corporation's flagship television channels, and also the two main channels in the country. Two digital stations, RMI News 24 and RMI Three, are also broadcast. Digital television is widespread in Cattala - analogue transmission was phased out in 2011.
The two main channels, RMI One and RMI Two, are regionalised TV services which provides local programming throughout the day for regional news and other local programming. These variations are the seven provincial networks, which also opt out on RMI Two. RMI One HD and RMI Two HD also operate regional opt-outs, with 100% of the new programming shown on RMI One HD produced in HDTV since 2010. All channels except RMI News 24 close down at midnight and start broadcasting at 5am.
RMI One is the corporation's flagship network, broadcasting drama, comedy, films, sport, English and American imports and news bulletins. The channel is home of the Breakfast television show, a light-hearted breakfast news show, which is produced by RMI News, who also simulcast the news bulletins, currently showing at 13:00, 18:00 and 22:00 seven days of the week. They are followed by the local news, provided by the seven regional centres located across Cattala. RMI One tarts broadcasting at The most watched programme on RMI One in 2011 was Downton Abbey.
RMI Two is home to more specialist programming, including documentaries, news and current affairs, Greek and Italian language programmes and local broadcasts. RMI Two is the less mainstream channel of the two flagship RMI channels, and produces most of its prime time shows alongside the BBC and RMI News. The most feature of the schedule is the news show "Newsnight", a 60 minute programme broadcast on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 22:00, and the two hour sister show, "Weekend Live", on a Sunday afternoon. RMI Two also has longer regional programming than RMI One. The most watched programme on RMI Two in 2011 was The Human World, a documentary series about mankind's impact on Earth.
RMI Three was the first channel launch for RMI in almost 30 years when it began broadcasting in 1989. The channel broadcasts children’s programming during the day and educational shows until network closedown at 12am. It targets children under the age of 10 in the evenings and pre-school children in the mornings and afternoon.
Since 2007, all the RMI channels are available to watch online, through the channels website, through the RMiPlayer service or on Cievista's CVDemand service. This online streaming ability came about following experiments with live streaming, involving streaming certain channels in the UK and Cattala.
RMI News is the RMI department that produces international and domestic news and current affairs programming that is broadcast across the network and internationally. Royal Media International operates the only 24-hour national news channel in Cattala, although BBC World News, Rai News and Sky TG24 also broadcast on digital services. RMI News was launched in 2001 to provide rolling news coverage to the public and the channel runs as part of the RMI News franchise, which produces the morning news show Breakfast, the Lunchtime News, RMI News at Six and RMI News at Ten, all of which are simulcast on RMI One. Provincial broadcasts are shown on the terrestrial channel during the programmes, each broadcast produced by the seven RMI provincial television channels. RMI News is one of the largest sections of Royal Media International, as it includes regional news coverage, online news, mobile news, the News 24 channel, RMI World News and radio news bulletins.
RMI News operates internationally as the World News service, which is broadcast in 35 countries around the world, including Syldavia, Okatabawashi, Killorglin, most Atlantic states and parts of the European Union. In the Atlantic, it is broadcast as Atlantic News 24, but utilises the full RMI News team of correspondents and bureaus around the world.
RMI Online is the internet presence for Royal Media International. It is a large network of websites including RMI News, Sport and Weather. It is home to the on-demand video and radio service co-branded RMiPlayer and learning services such as Revision|mi, RMI Earth and RMI History.
The corporation has had an online news presence since 1998, when it first launched RMI iNews alongside its interactive service. The core RMI website launched in 2000 and the portfolio continued to increase in size each year until 2006, when it was rebranded as RMI Online and the news website became RMI News Online. The network was refreshed into a house style in 2010, and many websites were closed as part of restructuring moves.
RMI Online has been criticised since its launch for unfairly using government money and public subsidies to compete with commercial news organisations. Internationally, the website is now funded by limited advertising and direct government funding for the service has been abolished. It is expected that by 2015, the service will be predominantly funded through the commercial arm, RMI Worldwide.
RMI broadcasts overseas in the Tirnreich, Okatabawashi, Syldavia and parts of the European Union under the umbrella of RMI Worldwide Holdings, based in Franogei. It also operates limited services in North America, Southern Asia and Oceania alongside local partners. It's largest overseas operation is RMI World News, a service that provides international news from the RMI News centre in Cattala, utilising the RMI News team of correspondents and bureaus around the world. It is run on a commercial basis and advertises the RMI Worldwide network, as well as RMI and Atlantic Media shows, in overseas markets.
The corporation's main subsidiary, Atlantic Media, broadcasts RMI programming and news to consumers in Killorglin, Galbadia, the Atlantic Federation and Ascadylea. It is a pay-per-view channel in some countries and is broadcast by cable and satellite providers around the world. It is the largest profit-making part of RMI and uses much of its licensed and original programming before selling it on to American and Canadian broadcasters. RMI Worldwide also produces films, documentaries and the international selling and distribution of Cattalian television shows and channels, as well as live events and merchandise production and sales.