18 December 2013 8:57 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Rome –  Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset is mulling merging its pay-tv operations in its core Italian and Spanish markets, the top Italian commercial broadcaster announced on Wednesday.

In a statement Mediaset, which is run by Piersilvio Berlusconi (pictured) said the plan would entail creating a new company which would hold 100 percent of its Italian pay-tv business, Mediaset Premium, and the 22 percent stake it holds in Spain’s Digital Plus. It may also seek an industrial and financial partnership.

“The evaluation will examine international development potential, possible synergies, the expansion of over-the-top services, as well as the eventual involvement of industrial and/or financial partners in the newco,” the statement said.

News of the possible merger, which could mark the start of a new pan-European pay-tv powerhouse, comes just as Berlusconi senior, a three-time Italo prime minister, announced he will not run at Italy’s next elections after being recently ousted from »

- Nick Vivarelli

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