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For other uses, see Rai (disambiguation).
RAI — Radiotelevisione italiana S.p.A.
Type Società per Azioni
Industry Media
Genre Public Broadcasting Service
Founded 1954 (1924)
Founder(s) Italian Government

Foreign Headquarters:

Viale Mazzini 14, Rome, Italy
Area served Worldwide
Revenue Increase 2.825 millions (2011)[1]
Operating income Decrease 23.5 millions (2011)[1]
Net income Increase 39.3 millions (2011)[1]
Owner(s) 99.56% Ministry of Economy and Finance
0.44% Italian Authors and Publishers Association
Employees 11378 (2011)[2]
Subsidiaries Rai Corporation
Rai Way S.p.A.
Rai Pubblicita' S.p.A.
Rai World S.p.A.
RaiNet S.p.A.
Rai Cinema S.p.A.
01 Distribution S.r.l.
Website Rai.it Rai.tv

RAI — Radiotelevisione italiana S.p.A. (pronounced [ˈraj]; commercially styled Rai; known until 1954 as Radio Audizioni Italiane[3]) is Italy's national public broadcasting company, owned by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

RAI operates a large number of television channels and radio stations, broadcasting via digital terrestrial transmission (15 television and 7 radio channels nationwide) and from several satellite and IPTV platforms. It is the biggest country broadcaster and competes with Mediaset, Telecom Italia Media, and Sky Italia – as well as commercial radio networks. RAI has a relatively high television audience share of 33.8%.[4]

RAI's broadcasts are also received in neighboring countries, including Albania, Croatia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Slovenia, Vatican City, and southern Switzerland.

Half of RAI's revenues come from broadcast receiving licence fees, the rest from the sale of advertising time.[5][6]

In 1950, RAI became one of the 23 founding broadcasting organizations of the European Broadcasting Union.

In 2014, a commission set up by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is studying guidelines for a radical change of the Italian public television to provide "leader information and programs to give voice to the Italian culture"[7] and to create a RAI that would be "able to sell high-quality contents around the world", based on BBC and SKY models.[8]



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."[9] 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".[10] 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 couldn't afford to travel.

Over the following years RAI made various changes to its services. Rai reorganized its radio stations in November 1946 into two national networks, Rete Rossa and Rete Azzurra ("Red Network" and "Blue Network"). Rai 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.

Start of the television service[edit]

In 1954 the state-owned holding company Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale (IRI) became the sole shareholder and RAI – 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.[11]


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.[12][13]

On 17 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 June 11, 2013, RAI was one of the few known European broadcasters to condemn and criticize the closure of Greece's state broadcaster ERT.


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.

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.


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 Zaccaria1 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 Alberoni2 May 4, 2004 May 31, 2005
Sandro Curzi2 June 1, 2005 July 30, 2005
Claudio Petruccioli July 31, 2005 March 25, 2009
Paolo Garimberti March 26, 2009 June 8, 2012
Anna Maria Tarantola June 8, 2012 present

General Directors[edit]

Name Took office Left office
Salvino Sernesi 1949 1953
Giovan Battista Vicentini 1954 1955
Rodolfo Arata 1956 1960
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 Materia3 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 Celli1 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 May 2, 2011
Lorenza Lei May 4, 2011 June 8, 2012
Luigi Gubitosi June 8, 2012 present

^Note 1 : Second term.
^Note 2 : Interim.
^Note 3 : Deputy director-general acting as director-general.

TV channels[edit]


Channel LCN on DVB-T Broadcast Daily Share 2013 Launched Description
Rai 1 001 National DTV
18.1% January 3, 1954 generalist
Rai 2 002 National DTV
6.9% November 4, 1961 generalist
Rai 3 003 National DTV
7.4% December 15, 1979 generalist
Rai 4 021 National DTV
July 14, 2008 series TV, movies and entertainment for young
Rai 5 023 National DTV
November 26, 2010 culture and documentaries
Rai Gulp 042 National DTV
June 1, 2007 kids/teens
Rai Movie 024 National DTV
July 1, 1999 movies
Rai News24 048 National DTV
April 26, 1999 news
Rai Premium 025 National DTV
July 31, 2003 Rai's series TV
Rai Scuola 146 National DTV
October 19, 2009 educational
Rai Sport 1 057 National DTV
February 1, 1999 sports
Rai Sport 2 058 National DTV
May 18, 2010 sports
Rai Storia 054 National DTV
February 2, 2009 history's documentaries
Rai Yoyo 043 National DTV
November 1, 2006 babies/kids
Rai HD/Rai 1 HD/Rai 2 HD/Rai 3 HD 501 National DTV
April 24, 2008 HD
Rai 3D National DTV
Rai Italia International
Rai's programs for Italians abroad
UniNettuno University TV Satellite higher education
Rai Premium World International
Italian culture
Rai Alto Adige Regional regional channel in Trentino-Alto Adige, in Italian language
Rai Ladinia Regional regional channel in Trentino-Alto Adige, in Ladin language
Rai Sud Tirol Regional regional channel in Trentino-Alto Adige, in German language
Rai 3 Bis (TDD Furlanija Julijska Krajina) Regional regional channel in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, in Slovenian language
Rai Parlamento National DTV
institutional channel about Parliament
Euronews National DTV
European news

IPTV channels[edit]


  • Rai On Cultura
  • Rai On Fiction
  • Rai On Fiction Live
  • Rai On News
  • Rai On Ragazzi
  • Rai On Spettacolo
  • Rai On Sport

Discontinued channels[edit]

  • RaiSat Album (30 July 2003)
  • RaiSat Art (30 July 2003)
  • RaiSat Fiction (30 July 2003)
  • RaiSat Smash Girls (1 August 2009)
  • RaiSat Gambero Rosso Channel (1 August 2009)
  • Rai Med (2013)
  • Rai Azzurri: UEFA Euro 2004 (2004, broadcast using Rai Utile frequencies)
  • Rai Doc: cultures, styles (1 June 2007)
  • Rai Futura: technologies, games, etc. (1 February 2007, broadcast on the same frequences of Rai Doc at settled times)
  • Rai Olimpia: 2004 Summer Olympics (2004, broadcast using Rai Utile frequencies)
  • Rai Utile (1 January 2008)
  • Rai Widescreen: 1998 FIFA World Cup (1999)

Radio channels[edit]

Main channels[edit]

Rai Radio logo


Other channels[edit]




Televideo logo



Headquarters and Centers of Television Production[edit]

Centers of Television Production[edit]

Seat Centers of Television Production Auditoriums/Theatres Studios
Rome CPTV Via Teulada, 66 9
Rome CP Saxa Rubra 16
Rome Studi Dear, Via Ettore Romagnoli, 30 6
Rome Teatro delle Vittorie 1 theatre
Rome Rai Auditorium of Foro Italico 1 auditorium
Milan CP corso Sempione, 27 3 auditoriums 5
Milan East End Studios via Mecenate, 76 4
Naples CP Viale Marconi, 9 1 auditorium 7
Turin CP via Verdi, 16 1 aduitorium 6
Turin Grattacielo Rai Corso Bolzano 5
Palermo CP Viale Strasburgo 4

Local offices[edit]

In every region and autonomous province of Italy, there is an RAI local office that produces local programs.

Foreign headquarters[edit]

There are RAI offices in foreign countries, which produce news reports that are broadcast live in Italy. These offices are in:


RAI logo 1.png RAI — Radiotelevisione italiana (logo).svg
1982–2000 2000–2010 2010-

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c [1] (English) Retrieved on 2011-09-07
  2. ^ [2] (English) Retrieved on 2011-09-07
  3. ^ Originally a distinction was made in Italian between radio telephony (radiofonia) and radio broadcasting (radioaudizione circolare). The latter term has now fallen into disuse. La radio in Italia cronologia (Italian) Retrieved on 2007-11-28
  4. ^ Ascolti Tv 2013: Rai predomina con Rai1
  5. ^ "Basta con il governo padrone, così cambierà la Tv pubblica" (Italian) Retrieved on 2007-10-10
  6. ^ " DDL Riforma Rai" (Italian) Italian Ministry of Communications, Retrieved on 2007-10-10
  7. ^ [3]
  8. ^ [4]
  9. ^ The Origins of radio broadcasting in Italy Comitato Guglielmo Marconi International (retrieved 27 November 2011)
  10. ^ Gazzetta Ufficiale No. 11 of 15 January 1925 pp. 164-167
  11. ^ [5], in Italian. Retrieved on 2009-06-21
  12. ^ "RAI's privatisation is de facto suspended", its new director general, Alfredo Meocci, told a parliamentary watchdog committee.[6]
  13. ^ [7]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°55′4″N 12°27′59″E / 41.91778°N 12.46639°E / 41.91778; 12.46639

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