European Bishops Hope to Set Up a TV Enterprise

Delegation Visits Italian Catholic Media Headquarters

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ROME, MAR. 18, 2001 ( A delegation of European bishops visited the Italian Catholic radio and television headquarters over the weekend, another step toward the establishment of a TV production enterprise inspired by Christian humanism.

On Saturday, members of the Media Commission of the European Episcopal Conferences Council visited the Roman headquarters of Sat 2000 television and Blu Sat 2000 radio, which are supported by the Italian bishops´ conference.

The occasion was propitious for Emmanuele Milano, director general of the two channels, to propose a Continental «dream» of a European organization for the production of programs for Catholic television channels in different countries.

The European delegation, headed by Bishop Crispin Hollis of Portsmouth, England, learned what the Italian Catholic radio and TV broadcasting company has done during its three years of existence: 15,000 hours of television transmission, 5,000 of which were produced locally, in addition to Blu Sat radio programs, transmitted 24 hours a day.

Sat 2000 has established contacts for co-production with France, Poland and, in the near future, Spain.

According to Milano, there are two possibilities for the creation of a production society: «The creation of a television of the Churches of Europe via satellite, with programs shared in common and others reserved for different communities and linguistic areas; or the establishment of a production company.» What is obvious is that «the television transmissions are increasingly more expensive and only by joining forces can high levels of quality be guaranteed,» Milano explained.

During the 1999 Synod of Bishops for Europe, many bishops spoke of the need for the local Churches to engage in a joint television enterprise.

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