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Television in Italy was introduced in 1939, when the first experimental broadcasts began. However, this lasted for a very short time: when fascist Italy entered World War II in 1940 all transmissions were interrupted, and were resumed in earnest only nine years after the end of the conflict, on January 3, 1954.
There are two main national television organisations responsible for most viewing: state-owned RAI, accounting for 37% of the total viewing figures in May 2014, and Mediaset, a commercial network which holds about 33%. The third largest player, the Italian branch of Discovery Communications, had a viewing share of 5.8%. Apart from these three free to air companies, News Corporation’s satellite pay TV platform Sky Italia is increasing in viewing and shares.
According to BBC, the Italian television industry is widely considered both inside and outside the country to be overtly politicized. Unlike the BBC which is controlled by an independent trust, the public broadcaster RAI is under direct control of the parliament. According to a December 2008 poll, only 24% of Italians trusted television news programmes, compared unfavourably to the British rate of 38%, making Italy one of only three examined countries where online sources are considered more reliable than television ones for information.