The TV of the living Dead


The person succeeding Ghino di Tacco cried out: “Bandits”. It doesn’t matter that he nearly burst out laughing while he was saying this. This man is right. The Gentiloni reform is an act of banditry, a mess worthy of Calderoli. But because of an excess of prudence and a lack of care and attention to detail.
In a couple of years there’ll be 2 channels on digital terrestrial. Digital terrestrial is already dead. In a couple of years it will be a crypt for housing Fede and RAI 2. And this is a good thing.
But the other 5 channels will remain alive subject to the economic interests of the Telecom group, of the Fininvest group and the shabby politicians who can’t tell the difference between Darfur and Toblerone between Mandela and a lollipop (What cultural programmes? For this lot we need re-education camps for Mao’s Red Guard).
Thus nothing changes. The News will be like it is now. A tool for mass disinformation.

Commercial channels must become public companies without owners to be referred to, alternatively close them down by decree tomorrow. And if someone shouts out: “Gaglioffi”, “dirty Communists” or even “fiddledifo”, never mind. We won’t get cross.
There must be a single channel for RAI. It must have no connections with the government or the parties. Let’s be honest. Apart from Gabanelli and a few others, we just get shit in our faces from the TV. Absolutely all the advertising, all of it , needs to go to the commercial stations, without limits. That’s the best way for them to commit suicide.
Anyway TV is in its death throes. In a bit it will be buried. Let Gentiloni call up Mark Thompson, director general of the BBC. Let him explain his ‘Creative Future’ to bring the BBC to the Internet. Let him cast an eye on Google Video and on Youtube that is today the biggest Internet broadcaster in the world.
Let him bring Broadband to every home. Let him abolish the license fee. Let him cur Broadband costs in half. Let him take them to the levels of France and Germany where there is true competition. Let him denounce the Authority, change it, destroy it and if he wants, why not sell it to the Telecom that he’s always had such good relations with.

I hear mad people talking about TV, about media companies, about digital terrestrial as though they were on the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek.
When the future is in fact in the mass production of content, in fast connections and widespread coverage, in free access to knowledge, and in WiMax. RAI and Mediaset will end up like Alitalia. The Internet is ‘low cost’ and for the moment it’s without owners.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 03:05 PM in | Comments (23)
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Well I don't own a TV and Rai in their hunger now seem to think a PC monitor warrants a full TV license even if it can't pick up a radio signal Three letters and a visit from their thug who very kindly wrote out the payment slip so I can continue to use my computer.... HELLO!

Little darlings, they'll get us that way then! If we can't have a part of the action lets make out that a monitor, is a TV and tax everyone who has a computer.

Posted by: Daniel Morris | July 10, 2007 09:21 PM

Hello All,

I have just read that the RAI Licence fee has gone up from €96 to €104!! shouldnt the licence fee be lowered due to the amount of adverts and (really) bad programs?

Posted by: Shawn Pearson | December 14, 2006 07:57 PM

sorry to tell you that ...
Very few people are able to understand
and comment...
what your forum talks about...
because of the language!
Why can't we use our own beautiful
language... instead of using
the language of the money?
one should be allowed to express his/her opinion
and then... having them translated in
a "lingua franca"...
this will be more democratic..

Posted by: Vincenzo Iorio | November 22, 2006 12:19 PM

The RAI license fee is actually a stealth tax on owning the television. When I recently had a search & seizure visit from the RAI inspectors who had discovered that I had bought I TV with a VISA card we refused to let them into the house and they were told that I had given the TV to my mother as a present (true, true I swear, cross my heart). Then I had to write to the RAI to tell them that not only do I not watch TV but I do not own one, which is inconceivable in Italy.
However, I swear that as soon as Angelo Maria Petroni steps down from the Board of Directors of the RAI, they take off all advertising from at least one channel and get rid of some of the crap they produce, (including Bruno Vespa) then I might consider paying my "TV" tax. In the meantime, I have signed the petition "per un altro TV". I agree with Beppe...TV will soon be dead anyway.

Posted by: Maureen Lister | November 4, 2006 08:37 PM

I just would like to draw the attention on the shift from catodic to digital TVS. This compulsory step would also lead to an increase in the buying of Tv-screen and so on. I read some ecological problems, about which none cared on an article of Hickman from "L'internazionale". DId anyone counted how much would it cost to citizens and environment the shift?

Posted by: Marta D'Epifanio | October 26, 2006 04:48 PM


The BBC, as bad as it has become, is still not quite as bad as RAI. In my TV-watching experience, which covers quite a lot of continental Europe (including Russia), only Greek TV is can be considered worse than the majority of Italian TV output. There are some gems hidden in amongst RAI programming, but they are rare.

The BBC have, at least in the not-to-distant past, produced some incredibly good documentaries, particulary in the area of natural history - indeed many regard them as unrivalled in this area. Having said that, I have to admit that they are becoming more dumbed-down with each passing year.

You are correct in assuming that all TV-licenses are effectively stealth taxation dressed up to look like something else. Where there is a lack of advertising revenue this is understandable, but where the stations these licenses fund also have advertising, their presence is inexcusable.

Posted by: Noel | October 19, 2006 10:37 PM

Noel - thanks for info re Irish tv. Sorry to hear that it is not so great and I was interested to hear that Sky presents you with ads - I always thought that you paid lots to Sky to get ad free tv - now I know otherwise.....thanks for that nugget of info.
Joselle - you are right - throw away the tv and buy books, or rediscover the ancient art of conversation.

Posted by: Alex R | October 17, 2006 10:28 PM

Nice name, Abdul Aziz, I guess taken with the kindest courtesy of E.M.Forster's "A Passage To India"...

Back to the topic now:

I also think that we are paying a direct tax rather than a licence fee. Yet, of course, in order to sugar the pill, it is called Abbonamento RAI. Correct me if I am wrong, isn't an "abbonamento" something voluntary? Then why is this RAI fee imposed? The answer is very obvious: it is nothing more than a straight direct tax.

Why should I pay this to RAI? Honestly speaking, in order to watch something decent I have to pay Sky [against my wishes, and only to watch something in English sometimes]. I am hardly satisfied with the service, but I am more daunted by RAI and the other channels. Naturally, since I pay over 100 Euros a year for this pseudo-"abbonamento", I expect something in return but no, I do not get that.

All right, now let me warn you though. BBC may be free but it ain't much better than RAI. I mean the quality of what is offered, with the exception of a few programmes, what is dished out is very much the same. In the end, better off with a book. With 100 Euros I might get lucky and buy 9 or 10 books to read!

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | October 17, 2006 08:28 PM

Off topic messages may be quite common elsewhere, but they are rare here. You are not one to be calling others 'rude', given that you so blatantly post comments that have nothing whatsoever to do with the subject matter of the blog.

Posted by: Noel | October 17, 2006 05:36 PM

Yes, there should be either a licence fee or advertising. As for paying lots to Sky, we need to do that here if we want to watch our national channels in digital (for instance, if reception by traditional methods is not so good). RTE is not free-to-air like the BBC is. When you pay lots to Sky, you still get adverts every twenty minutes or so on all channels except the movie channels.

TV in Ireland lacks the polish and professionalism of the Beeb, but it is not quite as cheesy as Italian TV. As you say, RAI 3 is (or rather was) about the only national channel worth watching in Italy.

Posted by: Noel | October 17, 2006 05:15 PM

I did not insult you - so I wonder who indeed is the rude dimwit?

Enough off-topic stuff.

Have a nice life.

Posted by: Alex R | October 17, 2006 03:29 PM

Alex R

You confirm my impression. You are just a rude dimwit.

And, by the way, your ravings are not only off-topic, but also take up a lot of space.

Why don't you practice what you preach?

Posted by: Abdul Aziz | October 17, 2006 12:32 PM

You think I was being rude??!! - that's a good one! Why don't you find a more appropriate place for your comments - there are plenty of forums out there where you could talk about what you want to talk about - or even wait till Mr Grillo brings up the subject of immigration, then you can have a field day.
Now you can go off and continue being rude to everyone with your off-topic comments.
And yes, I know off topic comments arise, but yours was not just off-topic, it was off planet.
Have a fun day.

Posted by: Alex R | October 17, 2006 09:52 AM


Posted by: paola filinesi | October 17, 2006 09:21 AM

Alex R

Thank you for your rudeness.

If you don't care, don't answer. Maybe someone else does care.

Off topics are quite common. You'll be very busy being rude to all those who post off topic messages. Have fun.

Posted by: Abdul Azis | October 17, 2006 01:44 AM

Normally the trash tax should be paid to keep the junk out of your homes.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 16, 2006 09:09 PM

Among the former communist countries that joined the European Union on 1 May, 2004, Estonia is the smallest, but the most technologically advanced. The former Soviet republic, where parliament has declared internet access a basic human right, is ahead of EU countries like France and Italy when it comes to the use of mobile phones and internet connections. Fifteen years ago, when Estonia regained its independence from the Soviet Union, only half of the country's 1.4 million people even had a telephone line. But now, as in all Estonian schools, there's a computer for every 20 children.

Beppe, you are right Sir. It's way past time we said goodbye to the utterly terrible TV dished up in Italy, and went to the Net. If Estonia can do it, why not Italy? Oh, of course, I forgot, doing that would mean we might not have 'Ballo Con Le Stelle', and 'L'Isola dei Famosi' anymore. Some loss, huh?

Posted by: Aidan Smyth | October 16, 2006 07:08 PM

Abdul Aziz - ever heard the expression 'off topic'? No? Well you have now. Please go and annoy someone else.

Posted by: Alex R | October 16, 2006 06:49 PM,,2-2006480089,00.html

The link above is an intersting article about immigration to the UK (source: THE SUN).

Posted by: Abdul Aziz | October 16, 2006 04:31 PM

Very sorry to hear that in Ireland you get hit by a licence fee and ads - very much a 'having your cake and eating it situation' I'm afraid. IMHO there should be either a licence fee or advertising, not both.
Still, you can always pay lots to Sky and continue to pay the licence fee, if you want to avoid ads. Personally, I prefer to pay to hire DVD's. Sky is great if you are a sports fanatic, but I'm not that sure the rest is worth paying for.
Coming back to the TV, is it worth watching in Ireland or is it as cheesy as it is here in Italy?

Posted by: Alex R | October 16, 2006 09:40 AM

Take a trip to not-so-sunny Ireland and you will find that we pay a TV license of approx €125 per annum to fund a station that also has significant advertising output. The TV license is another stealth tax, nothing more, nothing less :-/

Posted by: Noel | October 16, 2006 12:06 AM

Sorry that should have read: "Only RAI 3 comes close to being good channel and even it seems to be being taken over by trash programming. Shame."

Posted by: Alex R | October 15, 2006 04:12 PM

One of the things that gets me about RAI is that there is a licence fee and advertising - while in the UK you pay a licence fee for the BBC - but there is no blasted advertising. When I first found myself in sunny Italy I could not believe that you had to pay and put up with masses of cheesy adverts, but in and between programmes. And you have to pay and put up with the generally dismal quality of RAI's offerings. Not right. Only RAI comes close to being good channel and even it seems to be being taken over by trash programming. Shame.

Posted by: Alex R | October 15, 2006 04:10 PM

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